Geographic History–Philadelphia

“Morphogenesis of a Philadelphia City Block”


The first time I mapped out a historical geography was as a young SFSU undergrad. I recently came across this project while looking for old photos in my boxes of personal archaeology. I was thrilled to find it; I thought I had lost it long ago. I was ridiculously proud of this at the time–even though it only took a few hours to put together. When I researched this project, I hadn’t yet learned GIS, so the maps are hand-drawn.

This project was the first of many historical geographies I’ve explored, the last of which was the University of Washington campus.

I’ve never even been to Philadelphia.

Here is my original graphic:






Friends from the Mid-80s–Antioch, CA

Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing posted this video of some old friends of mine from way back. Laden with nostalgia, I found these in some old boxes of negatives. I just scanned and uploaded them to Flickr today. I haven’t seen most of these people in decades. I hope they’re all doing well.


Here’s the original video on YouTube.

Islands of Seattle

Like Islands of Seattle? Buy a poster!

Welcome to the Anthropocene! Behold, the Seattle Archipelago–a future history of the city of Seattle. Purchase in-person at Frame Central and Museum Quality Framing.

See the other Drowned Cities maps…


Bebb & Gould Regent’s Plan for the UW, 1915-1945

The Bebb & Gould plan for the University of Washington–updated nine times between 1915-1945. North is left.

1915-1945 UW Regents Plan

This plan is a great display of both what was built and what wasn’t. A few roundabouts remain from the AYPE. Campus Parkway never had the grand plaza envisioned here. The South Campus golf links were replaced by the UW Medical Center, but never made it to East Campus (except, I suppose, for the driving range).

They seemed to care about maintaining a connection from the main campus to the South Campus waterfront–this was forgotten by the next generation, but has been recently made a priority again.

I’m glad they never enclosed the Liberal Arts Quad as shown here. In the way it was eventually developed, the elevation change as you move to the northeast gives a good sense of enclosure, and allows for an axis from the northeast dormitories into the central campus.

Denny Yard would be a much more interesting space if they had actually enclosed it as shown here. The energy of the Yard is sapped by a poor sense of definition. The tighter, defined plaza shown here would be a place to gather and be seen.