Above, one of the towers of St. Augustine’s in Lower Lawrenceville. Below, a view down 36th Street from Penn Avenue, with the startling forms of St. Augustine’s illuminated by a shaft of sunlight. These pictures were taken in 1999, back when the neighborhood was forgotten and practically invisible to most outsiders.
The same two houses on 40th street in Lawrenceville across from Arsenal Park, taken in 1999 with two different twin-lens-reflex cameras. Above, a Lubitel, a Russian camera with a plastic body but a decent lens and all the usual manual controls. Below, an Imperial, the sort of thing photographers call a toy camera: a cheap old plastic fixed-focus camera that takes 620 film.
The house on the left has had its Gothic peak restored since this picture was taken.
The front of this building is a narrow storefront, with upstairs apartments, on Butler Street; but it goes way back, and here we see the 37th Street side. The mansard roof marks it as the Second Empire style, named for its prevalence in the French empire of Napoleon III.
The Lower Lawrenceville business district was practically abandoned ten years ago; now it is a lively place, with trendy restaurants, cafes, and shops.
This one huge extreme-wide-angle picture is put together from nine separate photographs, and a few stitching errors are apparent if you look at it full-sized.
John T. Comes (sometimes spelled Comès) designed a splendid Romanesque church for this congregation. It was built, however, on an improbably narrow street in the most crowded section of Lower Lawrenceville, so it is impossible to see the front as Comes designed it—unless we appeal to technology, merging fifteen separate photographs to produce one overall picture. In spite of the distortion caused by taking the pictures from a low position and altering the perspective, this imperfect picture comes very close to presenting the front of the church as the architect drew it.