The Divine Lorraine
Project info

The Divine Lorraine was built in 1894 in North Philadelphia. Originally named, Lorraine Apartments, it boasted luxurious living for those who became wealthy during the industrial revolution. At 10 stories tall, the Lorraine was one of the first high-rise buildings to stand in the city.

In 1948, the building was sold to Father Divine, leader of the Universal Peace Mission Movement. He changed the name to The Divine Lorraine and transformed the building to provide social welfare activities to those who were less fortunate. The Divine Lorraine became the first building of its kind to be fully racially integrated in the United States. Men and women of all races and religions inhabited the building and slept on separate floors under the rules of the movement. A public dining room was built on the first floor with meals priced at just 25 cents.

Closed in 1999 and sold in 2000, the building was abandoned for more than a decade before it was bought again at Sheriff sale in 2012.

All photographs were made during the winter of 2007.