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-editor of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including the forthcoming Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (Temple Press) and a novel, Lion and Leopard (The Head and the Hand Press). He is 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???

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
City Council To Vote On Ridge Avenue Demo Moratorium

City Council To Vote On Ridge Avenue Demo Moratorium

December 13, 2017  |  News

A bill to place a temporary hold on demolition applications for 300+ historic properties along Ridge Avenue goes before City Council tomorrow. Michael Bixler has the details > more

The Marvelous Multiple Occupations Of The Midtown II

The Marvelous Multiple Occupations Of The Midtown II

December 11, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

Last June, one of Center City's last classic diners, Midtown II at 11th and Sansom, closed its lunch counter for good. The high-profile property is now under development, although plans for the space remain elusive. The Shadow takes us behind the façade to reveal a lively list of tenants and a colorful history of reuse > more

Secrets! Romance! Scandal! The Hush-Hush Love Of Philly's Paint King And His Irish Lass

Secrets! Romance! Scandal! The Hush-Hush Love Of Philly’s Paint King And His Irish Lass

December 8, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us to Old City where the flames of a secret affair scorched newspaper headlines in the early 1900s > more

Marc Lamont Hill Energizes Germantown Ave With New Bookstore Cafe

Marc Lamont Hill Energizes Germantown Ave With New Bookstore Cafe

December 6, 2017  |  Vantage

Academic, activist, and political commentator Marc Lamont Hill carries the tradition of the Black-owned bookstore into the 21st century with Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books. John Henry Scott has the details > more

Give $$$, Get a Cool Perk: 2017 Campaign

Give $$$, Get a Cool Perk: 2017 Campaign

December 4, 2017  |  Vantage

Hidden City's annual fund drive is in full swing on Generosity and we've got a brand new batch of perks celebrating Philadelphia available. Here's a look at this year's killer lineup > more

Three Historic Designation Removals Call Procedure Into Question

Three Historic Designation Removals Call Procedure Into Question

November 30, 2017  |  Vantage

Three historic properties on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places were abruptly stripped of legal protection last week. Contributor Starr Herr-Cardillo unpacks the details of each situation > more