The Church of the Assumption, 1123 Spring Garden St.: In September 2010, the Historical Commission voted, 6-5, to grant the church’s owner, the nonprofit Siloam — which provides services to people with AIDS and HIV — permission to demolish the church, claiming financial hardship because it didn’t have the money to properly maintain it. The church was designed and built in 1848 by Patrick Charles Keely, one of the most prolific ecclesiastical architects of the 19th century. Former Bishop John Neumann helped consecrate the church, and religious sister Katharine Drexel was baptized there. Both later became Catholic saints.
FIGHTING BACK: The Callowhill Neighborhood Association filed an appeal of the Historical Commission’s demolition permit to the Board of L&I Review. The group’s attorney, Samuel C. Stretton, said the L&I board overturned the Historical Commission’s demolition vote. Siloam is now appealing that decision in Common Pleas Court.
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