Philadelphia Folksong Society Plans Home Base, Venue at Roxborough Church

The Philadelphia Folk Festival runs through this weekend, and the PFS has started a drive to develop their home base in Roxborough.

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The church building in Roxborough | via Google Street View

Headed to the Philadelphia Folk Festival this weekend? You could be contributing to the future of the Philadelphia Folksong Society (PFS) in more ways than simply takin’ in the great tunes at Old Pool Farm near Schwenksville. The Key’s John Vettese reports that PFS has high hopes to purchase the defunct Grace Lutheran Church at the corner of Ridge and Roxborough Avenues in Roxborough to convert into their home base.

PFS announced the plans at the festival’s opening concert last night. According to Vittese, “The PFS recently signed a letter of intent to purchase the property and the festival this year launches their 5-year capital campaign where they hope to raise $1.75 million to cover the acquisition as well as rehab of the building.”

The plan is to use the bones of the church to create a performance space, as well as classroom and office space for music classes and community outreach programs. Capacity for the sanctuary’s venue space could be between 100 and 200 people, depending if a non-loading bearing wall can be removed to make room.

We’d like to imagine that all of the construction would take place while workers sung If I Had a Hammer by Pete Seeger.

Vettese has more from executive director Justin Nordell:

“It will be a place for people to take [music] classes,” Nordell told the crowd, his voice booming through a huge smile. “It will be a venue. It’ll be amazing.”

A $10 donation at this year’s Folk Festival will get you a “Folk Key”–which Vettese explains is like a symbolic key to the building and goes towards to the aforementioned cost to acquire and rehab the church building.