St. Boniface Demolition Begins Today

Photo: Erica Maier

Demolition begins today for the church and convent of the St. Boniface Complex, constructed in 1872 and closed in 2006. The Norris Square Civic Association plans to build a residential structure that contains fifteen housing units. There will be a permanent display of St. Boniface’s history placed on the sidewalk of the new development.

About the author

Angela Taurino is a Philadelphia native now living in Bucks County and received her B.A. in English and Education at Arcadia University. She also studied abroad at City University in London, focusing on British history, art, and architecture. She currently works as Resident Services Coordinator at New Kensington Community Development Corporation, and focuses on a developing civic association in the Kensington neighborhood.



16 Comments


  1. Heartbreaking.

  2. When will people realize that places like St. Boniface are what make Philly special and unique?

  3. It IS sad! I made every one of my sacraments there, including being baptized. I graduated in that church and not long before it closed, I said good-bye to my grandmother there. :(

  4. Where the foundation of my Christianity began! I grew up listening to the church bells ring every Sunday morning :-( I pray blessings will be upon the residents of the apartments that are to come.

  5. Shame. Shame on you! With all of the abandoned factory buildings in that area which SHOULD be demolished or converted to residential space, there is NO reason to demolish St. Boniface. Shame!

  6. Elizabeth Cuadrado

    I am so sad to see Saint Boniface go. I have so many wonderful memories there. Went to school at St. Boniface, made my Holy Communion,Confirmation, Was Married at St. Boniface, had cooking class woth Sister Honora on Saturday’s it was great, was in the CYO went to the games. So many wonderful Bazaars in the 70′s, was in the choir with Mr. Tom, my son went to Saint Boniface, made his Holy Communion, his Confirmation. Can’t believe they are tearing it down:(

  7. It is hard to express how one feels about this. The memories that were made here will never be forgotten.

  8. I’m in there now doing salvage. It is a shame. The building is fine, no reason to take it down. Structure, rooms, windows, heating, all in working order.

    IF you are interested though in what I salvage out of there though, we are at Philadelphia Salvage 542 Carpenter Lane in Mt. Airy.

  9. Hi. I’m very interested in items from the church. My family went to st boniface. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks joe

  10. HELEN A. HERMLEY-KEEN

    DISGRACE, IS THERE NOTHING LEFT? INTERESTE WHERE PARTS WERE SENT BORN N BRED THERE, VERY HEARTBROKEN, CHURCH SOLD ANYTHING LEFT I CAN BUY ? HVE OLD PHOTOS, VISITED UP TO 20000, CANT BELIEVE CHURCH SOLD IT, ABSOLUTELY,,CONFUSED WHY WOULD LIKE A PIECE OF CHURCH OR SCHOOL, WHERE DID SCHOOL RECORDS GO? PLEASE CONTACT, THANKS

    • Hi Helen and Joe–The Norris Square Civic Association, which owns St. Boniface, has been selling pieces of the church. I understand one or more architectural salvage companies have purchased quite a few items. No telling where they’ll end up but they will be reused at least. I do know that the owner of another church in Philadelphia bought several doors. The best thing to do at this point is to contact the NSCA. Perhaps they can give you the names of the salvage companies if everything has already been sold. I’m not sure where the school records might be. It’s possible the Catholic Diocese removed them before selling the property to the NSCA, but I’m just guessing. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

  11. hi my name is chris, i am writing to let everyone know that i am refinishing,repairing,restoring, and installing the entryways,stainglass,confessionals,organpipes and woodwork,confessions,sacisisty,and other of the masterly crafted woodwork for the blessed teresa of calcutta parish being erected in limerick,pa. if you are interested in seeing photos i have a page on facebook where i have been posting photos of our progress. just type Chris Angstadt Carpentry & General Contracting.I have been restoring it all to its original state. thank you and enjoy the photos and please feel free to commemt on them
    thank you

  12. Hi folks. Peter mentioned I should post here. I own an architectural salvage company called Philadelphia Salvage and have saved as much as I could. I have stained glass, church pews, wainscoting, coat hooks, marble, etc…

    My goal is to preserve the building in tact, but if that’s not possible, we keep it out of a land fill.

    We will also be making cutting boards out of the timber and cheese trays out of the slate roof. Feel free to stop into the store, we are in Mt. Airy. We have plenty of parking, a nice coffee shop and a great book store right next to us!

    http://www.philadelphiasalvage.com/ https://www.facebook.com/phillysalvage

    Also think of joining HIDDEN CITY before the end of the year for a tax deduction!!!

  13. We will be salvaging LARGE timber from St. Boniface sometime next week. We are talking 1000# pieces from the main roof structure. This large timber will be milled down to make cutting boards that we will be selling. We will also be tying to salvage slate from the roof to make cheese trays and chalk boards!

    Stay tuned!
    http://www.philadelphiasalvage.com/ https://www.facebook.com/phillysalvage

Recent Posts
Fairmount Park Guard Houses: A Survivor's Guide

Fairmount Park Guard Houses: A Survivor’s Guide

July 29, 2014  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

The Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust is busy restoring the few of these uniquely Philadelphia buildings that remain. Harry K tells us why they're important and where to find them > more

Design Advocate Says New Zoning Classification Needs Revision

Design Advocate Says New Zoning Classification Needs Revision

July 29, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Ruben on the dangers of IRMX, US House votes to rename 30th Street Station, a look at the Linc’s $125 makeover, and the street melodies of yore > more

Lost & Found (And Lost Again)

Lost & Found (And Lost Again)

July 28, 2014  |  Vantage

Keep a close eye on construction sites and you sometimes see a hidden layer of history come to light. Peter Woodall has been saving up good examples for a while now and brings us this collection > more

NoLibs Zoning Chair Discusses How Best To Ensure Density

NoLibs Zoning Chair Discusses How Best To Ensure Density

July 28, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Larry Freedman on the necessity of “sincere and informed” discussions with developers, Ken Weinstein offers to facilitate inclusion of Germantown Ave trestle in regional trail network, St. Joseph’s to get state historical marker, and readying for the Civic Design Review of the Morman Church’s apartment complex proposal > more

A Call For Open Parking Data And The Better Planning It Allows

A Call For Open Parking Data And The Better Planning It Allows

July 25, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Why we can’t ignore the parking problem any longer, developer to talk loft conversion in South Philly, more student housing in UCity, videographer chronicles Philly’s “Makers,” and all taxis to get cameras > more

A Place Called The Plateau Is Where Everybody Goes

A Place Called The Plateau Is Where Everybody Goes

July 24, 2014  |  Last Light

With yesterday's dedication of the John K. Binswanger Grove of Park Champions, the Fairmount Park Conservancy ushered in a new era of growth at the Belmont Plateau. It's always been Brad Maule's favorite place to survey the growth of the Philly skyline > more