Today, Slate Magazine featured the work of Camilo Jose Vegara, who makes it his business to document the slow decay of American buildings and neighborhoods. His photographs are utterly fascinating to me, but what really caught my attention today was his photograph of the William Cooper Manor House located in Camden, New Jersey.
William Cooper was one of the earliest settlers of Gloucester County, and managed one of the earliest ferries across the Delaware River. In West New Jersey history, he is an important person. But his house, which amazingly has lasted into the 21st century, is now slowly disappearing and completely neglected.
This is probably unfair. I have not communicated with the Gloucester County Historical Society. I’m sure they know about the tragedy that is taking place with this house and would do something about it if they could.
I am just grateful to Mr. Vegara for taking the trouble to photograph this house and all the other places in America that we seem to want to forget and ignore.
If you would like to see more of Mr. Vegara’s amazing pictures, visit his beautifully designed website. Here’s the link.