The Built/Unbuilt Square

Part of Monument Lab

The Built/Unbuilt Square by Alexander Rosenberg. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Snippet of a view inside The Built/Unbuilt Square by Alexander Rosenberg. Photo by Steve Weinik.

About the Project 

The Built/Unbuilt Square provided a journey into Rittenhouse Square’s historical landscape with the help of augmented reality technology. Passersby were invited to look into a pair of viewfinders—a traditional device often placed on the edge of important monumental vistas— with each facing inward at the park. Within the scope of each viewfinder, the park could be seen as layered with archival images of historical gatherings, renderings of constructed and proposed structures from past eras, and animations conveying the square’s vitality and mythos. Users could shift the angle of the viewfinder to reveal multiple views of the location they were currently inhabiting. Together, the viewfinders of The Built/Unbuilt Square attempted to collect the stories, fragments, and numerous evolutions of the park into a shared frame.


Major support for Monument Lab projects staged in Philadelphia’s five squares provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. An expanded artist roster and projects at additional neighborhood sites made possible by the William Penn Foundation. Lead corporate support provided by Bank of America. Generous additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For a full list of funders click here.