Historian Thomas Rzeznik unpacks the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s recent edict to oppose any attempts to place Catholic buildings on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Who will win this proxy battle?
The former First Presbyterian Church of the Northern Liberties knows the business of conversion. This low-key brick structure built in the early 1800’s on Fairmount Avenue spent decades as a theater, a hall for German singing societies, a Polish community house, and now lives out its days as a children’s learning center. The Shadow tallies up the building’s long list of reuse
Last week the Archdiocese of Philadelphia issued an order to pastors and religious officials baring all involvement in placing churches on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Patrick Hildebrandt, founder of the Philadelphia Church Project, says the rigid edict wages war on historic Catholic church survival and preservation
The fabric of Philadelphia’s sacred architecture is slowly disintegrating as religious neighborhood landmarks give way to new construction. The Philadelphia Church Project, a growing online record of the city’s historic sanctuaries, has been steadily amassing a church database for almost 8 years. Hidden City co-editor Michael Bixler checked in with the founder of the website to discuss church closings and the project in detail