Incredibly Detailed Miniature Models That Document the Grittier Side of Transitional Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Philadelphia artist Drew Leshko crafts incredibly detailed miniature models and facades that show the grittier side of transitional neighborhoods due to gentrification in his beloved city. Not only does Leshko recreate nostalgic storefronts, but also those items that adorn such businesses such as ice machines, wooden pallets, and garbage dumpsters. Each of these items is given a realistically worn-down look from years of snow, wind, rain, and sun.

By carving, cutting, and layering varieties of paper and wood, Leshko creates documentary studies of architecture from his neighborhood in an attempt to create a three-dimensional archive of buildings that are in transitional periods.

Leshko uses his own neighborhood in its current state, as well as historical photographs to recreate these gritty city streets.

The work examines gentrification and history, how historical relevance is determined, and most importantly, what is worth preserving. Working from observation and photographs, the artist painstakingly recreates building facades from his neighborhood at a 1:12 scale. …Leshko’s work begs the viewer to build their own ideas of why and when these changes had been made. Accumulations of typically overlooked details and minutiae like acid rain deposits and rust become beautiful adornments.