Adiós, St. Boniface

Photo: Wojo Photo – Chamyang Unkow

A perfect storm: church leadership that can’t manage its considerable assets, community development corporations that lack means and funding (and too often vision) to adapt them, and a dysfunctional preservation apparatus without power or capacity to do anything about it.

Despite repeated attempts by the Daily, officials of the Norris Square Civic Association won’t reveal what the organization has planned for the site (despite the use of public community development dollars), we’re very certain it won’t be as muscular or beautiful or meaningful as this great church, beloved by so many who grew up in the neighborhood. Adiós, St. Boniface.

Photo: Wojo Photo – Chamyang Unkow

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.



10 Comments


  1. Low income housing is planned, so the neighborhood can stay forever poor.

  2. Dresden?

  3. “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”

    Haunting, yet beautiful photos, Wojo. You have a keen eye.

  4. Lawrence Aberle

    Some shots I got from the inside during demolition:
    goo.gl/jX63E

    • Well this hard to read image is almost 2 years old. It would be much preferable if the NSCA would just reveal what it’s planning. We’ve contacted the architect and NSCA and no one wants to share. What are they hiding?

  5. Another “Penn Station” NYC bites the dust. When will they ever learn???

Trackbacks

  1. St. Boniface is all but gone, Central United Methodist Church on its way down
  2. St. Boniface Demolition

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Archeologists Dish Up Dirt On Philly History Under I-95

Archeologists Dish Up Dirt On Philly History Under I-95

March 28, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Jared Brey takes us under the overpass and down in the trenches of the 95 Revive archeological excavation where field workers are piecing together centuries of lost Philadelphia history > more

The Gallery: Finally The Destination Ed Bacon Hoped For?

The Gallery: Finally The Destination Ed Bacon Hoped For?

March 23, 2017  |  Vantage

PREIT's transformation of The Gallery into an upscale shopping outlet promises to be the suburban-minded downtown destination that the first mall failed to deliver. Contributor Chris Giuliano takes a look at the redevelopment of East Market and Edmond Bacon's original plan. > more

New Life For An Old Coal Country Outpost In Society Hill

New Life For An Old Coal Country Outpost In Society Hill

March 20, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow takes a stroll down to Society Hill where business is stirring at an old 19th century coal company headquarters after 12 years of vacancy > more

New Exhibition Gives Movement To The Philadelphia School

New Exhibition Gives Movement To The Philadelphia School

March 17, 2017  |  Buzz

Two fans of Modernism re-evaluate architectural history with the exhibition, "What Was the Philadelphia School?" > more

Tracking The Evolution Of Industry At 34th And Grays Ferry

Tracking The Evolution Of Industry At 34th And Grays Ferry

March 16, 2017  |  Vantage

The site of Penn's new riverside research campus has a long, decorated history of industrial enterprise. Contributor Madeline Helmer dives deep into the backstory > more

Emergency Excavation In Old City Reveals Lack Of Oversight

Emergency Excavation In Old City Reveals Lack Of Oversight

March 15, 2017  |  News

The last-minute salvage excavation of First Baptist Church Burial Ground in Old City has the archaeological community up in arms. Is the City or the developer to blame? John Henry Scott reports > more