Monday, December 1, 2014

Lighting the way

St. Michael's Chapel, Northeast Philadelphia.

My calling to architecture may be rooted in this portico, which belongs to a lovely church located almost literally in my childhood backyard in Philly. Our yard abutted the church grounds, and the Catholics in our neighborhood had to cut through our yard to get to Sunday mass for several years, until a permanent church was built a mile away. It was nowhere near as nice, built as it was in the 1960s Stingy Revival Style. The church and mansion pictured were built by Katharine Drexel, now recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church.


  1. I, too, spent my early years in Philadelphia. My father went to Drexel University so, curious, I looked up Katherine Drexel's relationship to that name. The story is better than a novel, and makes one wish the super-rich today had their values.

    1. Yes, it was quite a family...seems they are not as well known in Philly as they should be. I didn't know the Drexel connection to my childhood church until many years after we moved away.