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News > Context Summer 2023 > Design Profile: St. Rita Place & Cascia Center

Design Profile: St. Rita Place & Cascia Center

CBP Architects
Halkin Mason Photography 
Halkin Mason Photography 

For many years the site for St. Rita Place & Cascia Center was a vacant lot located along Broad Street in South Philadelphia. This prominent corner location has now been transformed with a new, five-story, mixed-use structure that serves the adjacent St. Rita of Cascia Church & Shrine and the neighborhood beyond by providing both affordable housing for seniors as well as a center for peace and reconciliation. Developed by Catholic Housing & Community Services, this project was funded through the low-income housing tax credit program and provides 46 one-bedroom units for seniors, many of whom have lived in this neighborhood their entire lives. The Cascia Center occupies 7,500 sf at the first floor and serves several purposes including providing a gathering place for pilgrims visiting the Shrine next door, as well as a place where those in conflict can come together seeking resolution. In siting the new building, the main structure sits tight along Broad and Ellsworth Streets, opening to a newly created Plaza located between the new building and the adjacent, early 20th-century limestone church. St. Rita Place provides permanent housing for low-income seniors in a prominent location adjacent to a beloved neighborhood landmark. In addition, the Cascia Center will become a safe place for the community where conflict can be safely mediated. These two uses come together in a vibrant, mixed-use building that celebrates and inspires those who live, work, and gather here.  

Location: Philadelphia, PA    

Client: Catholic Housing & Community Services 

Project Size: 53,000 sf  

Project Team:  
CBP Architects (Architect)  

Boles Smyth (Civil Engineer)  

Keast & Hood Co. (Structural Engineer)  

Holstein White (MEP Engineer) 

BEAM, Ltd. (Lighting Designer)  

Domus, Inc. (General Contractor) 

Photos: Halkin Mason Photography 

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