Morning Headlines: Archdiocese to Demolish Fishtown’s Saint Laurentius Church

st laurentius church

Photo: Google Street View.

Saint Laurentius Catholic Church has seen some things in it 133-year existence on the corner of East Memphis and Berks Street in Fishtown. Many a mass, wedding, baptism and funeral have occurred underneath its iconic twin steeples, but the last two years have not been kind to the former place of worship, especially its beautiful, yet failing, structure.  In a letter read as mass on Sunday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that the church founded in 1882 will soon be demolished.

According to The Inquirer, the church has been in rapid structural decline since it merged with Holy Name of Jesus parish in September 2013 and closed altogether in March 2014 due to safety concerns.  The letter from the the Archdiocese, dated March 22, says it weighed the structural issues with cost of repairs ($3.5 million) against the cost of demolition ($1 million) and that “the decision was not made lightly.” Saint Laurentius School will remain open.

St. Laurentius, beloved Polish church in Fishtown, to be demolished [The Inquirer]

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Will Alexander Wilson School Be Turned Into Housing?

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Word on the street is Orens Brothers Real Estate will get the former Alexander Wilson School at 46th and Woodland. As mentioned earlier, the building is one of several shuttered School District properties being eyed by potential buyers.

Orens Brothers intends to convert the building into a residential space with possible ground floor retail, not too surprising considering their rehab track record. Their most recent renovation was the infamous Croydon Building known for being a squatter haven and having been the site of a rooftop murder in 2007. That property has since been turned into a residential unit aimed at students.

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