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St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church
19 S. 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Date Constructed: 1822-1823/1878-1879/1888
Architect(s): William Strickland/Frank Furness/George C. Mason
Many new churches were constructed in the early 19th century to serve the changing population of the city. St. Stephen's, built on the site where Franklin flew his famous kite, was the first designed in Gothic Revival style.
Strickland's Gothic designs, of which this is the only survivor, were neoclassical building with applied Gothic details. St Stephen's is Gothic by virtue of the crenelations over the screen on the facade, the lancet windows in the twin towers were crenelated as well.
The church contains outstanding examples of religious works of art. These include two marble effigies and a baptismal font by Steinhause and a richly carved marble reredos. over the altar is a mosaic of the Last Supper, inlaid with 180,000 pieces of Venetian glass. three Tiffany windows adorn the south wall.
The north transept and vestry room were added in 1878-79 by Frank Furness. In 1888, George C. Mason designed the parish house, west of the vestry room..
Tabernacle Presbyterian Church
3700 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Date Constructed: 1884-1886
Architect(s): Theophilus Parsons Chandler
The Tabernacle Presbyterian Church was once the center of a wealthy neighborhood and had a sizable congregation. The heavily rusticated exterior of the church is detailed in precise Gothic terms, as evidence by the corbel tables around the cornice an above the second stage of the tower, the elaborate window tracery and the multiply pinnacles and gabbles. The interior contains an outstanding hammer-beamed ceiling decorated with wood carved flying angel bearing shields.
The growth of the University of Pennsylvania and changes to adjacent neighborhoods reduced the size of the supporting congregation. The sanctuary was converted to a theater for use by the University's performing arts department without altering the interior. A nursery school area was renovated as a space for worship for the Presbyterians congregation and the United Church of Christ congregation that have shared the church since 1958.
Tenth Presbyterian Church
17th and Spruce streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Date Constructed: 1854
Architect(s): John McArthur, Jr.
The Tenth Presbyterian Church is another example of the many churches built by the Presbyterians to serve the developing neighborhoods in the western section of the city. It was designed by John McArthur, one of its members. McArthur was the architect of City Hall and is chiefly remembered as a leading exponent of the Second Empire style. But he was firmly established in the eclectic tradition and designed competently in many styles. For this church he drew on three principal influences. The spire and recessed porches are reminiscent of French Gothic; the base of the tower and the walls of the church are paneled in colonial fashion; and the round-headed windows, pilasters strips and corbel tables re suggestive of the Romanesque style.