The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia invites you on a winter evening visit to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Center City Philadelphia. Built in 1822-3, St. Stephen’s is well known as the sole remaining example in Philadelphia of pre-1840s Gothic Revival architecture (in this case by William Strickland), with later additions and decoration by other luminaries (notably Frank Furness, Henry and Kate Holiday, and Louis Tiffany). By the 1990s, it had become a prominent example of an historic building that could no longer manage its upkeep or find a modern mission. In 2016 St. Stephen’s suspended activities but remained open. The incoming team in 2017 probed an unexplored dimension of its history, its changing approach to its dead, to help find its future.
During our visit, we will see how the team pursued two goals– to acknowledge each phase of the church’s varied history, and to produce an innovative space within this modern-day urban church– by integrating the burial vaults from the original 1824 churchyard within the later structure that covered them. Art historian Suzanne Glover Lindsay, preservation architect Suzanna Barucco, and church vicar The Rev. Peter Kountz, will guide us through the ongoing interpretive remodeling of Furness’ transept, and share the remarkable stories the team has unearthed in the process.
Tour begins at 6:00 PM. Reception to follow.
$10 Alliance and St. Stephen’s Members
$15 General Admission