Architectural Afterlife is a website started in 2012 by Cleveland-based photojournalist Johnny Joo.
At the age of 16, Johnny began his journey into the world of the more forgotten, historically significant architectural pieces, which lay abandoned across our country. At the same time, he was introduced to the world of photography through black and white film, and from then on continued capturing the world around him, whether it was through nature or abandoned structures. He realized quickly that through a lens was how he could take his passion, and share it all with the world around him.
“Upon entrance through the tall, white, wooden swinging doors I was instantly brought to the realization that this was someone’s past; the history of lives we never even knew, but for some reason I found to be so interesting. People were here once, living and working and now they are gone while the collapsing ruins remain a place that is looked past by so many. We walked through the falling foundation, across tilted floors which had been shifted by the Earth, examining this space that had once been full of life. This moment felt so peaceful. From that day on, whenever I would see a decayed structure that had been left to fall, I would find a way to explore it. Shortly after in 2009 I had learned this was actually known as urban exploration and became hooked on learning the history of the places I would explore.” – Johnny Joo
Architectural Afterlife was brought to the Internet as a blog in 2012, documenting the history of decaying, forgotten places all across the United States. In 2016, the decision was made to open it up to the community, welcoming input from other artists/photographers and the link to share their visions, unique places and etc. essentially creating a main hub for all abandoned/unique/historic/forgotten places.
“This is something that will not be here forever, and I find an incredible importance in saving its story for future generations.” – Johnny Joo
“We trade our imaginations in for days full of stress, and a mind full of white walls.
We trade our drive to do something we love for a drive to fit in with the real world.
– Johnny Joo