Editor’s Note: Beautiful churches sitting vacant and decaying are a dime a dozen in Philly–almost literally. Yet the most exceptional structures still manage to bob to the surface and command our attention. A few years ago Church of the Assumption on Spring Garden Street became the focus of preservationists and the surrounding community. And right now, few buildings are as lovely–and compelling–as the the former St. Bonaventure Catholic church in Fairhill. The building at Ninth and Cambria was erected in 1894, and designed by noted architect Edwin Forrest Durang. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia closed the church in 1993 and sold the building 1997 to a congregation that lacked the resources to care for it. The church has suffered from more than a decade of neglect since then. Scrappers have torn off large chunks of copper flashing on the roof, causing significant water damage, some of the masonry is falling and…we’ll have an expanded story on this vulnerable building in coming days. For now, Chandra Lampreich’s images will do.