Progress At 19th Street Baptist


Photo: Sean Maxwell

Last Saturday, April 28th, the masonry materials supply company, which markets an environmentally benign hydraulic lime mortar to be used in place of Portland cement, led a small workshop with some volunteers at the 19th Street Baptist Church in South Philadelphia in an effort to stabilize a section of the church’s compromised north wall. The volunteer team was made up of church members, a masonry student from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, and the student’s father.

Photo: Sean Maxwell

Photo: Sean Maxwell

Photo: Sean Maxwell

After raking the joints and cleaning the area, the crew replaced the bedding mortar using the company’s Ecologic Mortar, which is made up of natural hydraulic lime. The mortar is meant to be an accurate reflection of the building’s original mortar.

According to Sean Maxwell of, the team successfully repaired two sections of the failing mortar on the north facing wall of the serpentine stone church. Maxwell says the company donated all the materials for the workshop and left a few bags for Reverend Vince Smith and his team of trained volunteers to continue making the most urgently needed repair.

“Following the workshop it became quite obvious that a master plan is needed to fully address all the repair needs inside and out,” says Maxwell.

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."


  1. I say ‘canonize’ these gents. At least it’s something positive. Frank Furness
    is smiling!

  2. Really great news!


  1. Yes We Can Save The Frank Furness 19th Street Baptist Church

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