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

Nathaniel Popkin is co-founder of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (with Peter Woodall and Joseph E.B. Elliott) and two novels, Everything is Borrowed and Lion and Leopard. He is co-editor of Who Will Speak for America, an anthology forthcoming in June 2018, and the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."



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???

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