st. bonaventure

An Unedited Collection

St. Bonaventure church was located in the Fairhill section of Philadelphia, PA. Designed in 1894 and completed in 1906, it was, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful structures in the city. After the Department of Licenses and Inspections deemed its copper steeple as "imminently dangerous," the choice had to be made whether to stabilize the steeple or demolish the church. Although the demolition ultimately cost more, the partially collapsed roof and missing sections of its structure made demolition an easy decision. Demolition began in November 2013.

Unfortunately, I hadn't visited the site this beautiful Gothic-style cathedral until December 2017, just over 4 years after its demolition. I learned of it before its demolition through this article and gallery published by Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America. If you know me, I've always had a strong connection to structures. There's also something about an abandoned church in particular that has a profound impact on me. Something about the stone, the intricacies and details, and the stained glass that makes my soul happy. I felt extremely connected to St. Bonaventure, just through images.

Pulling up to the site where St. Bonaventure once stood was emotional. How did this community let this happen? Why would the city let this happen?

After leaving St. Bonaventure, I went down a rabbit hole (as I normally do) reading about its history. I learned that the copper spires and the clock were preserved! I then entered rabbit hole #2. I managed to track down the spires, so I rounded up my partner and my dad and took them on a short drive to the other side of the city where the spires were being stored in a large antique warehouse. Little did I know, those weren't the only pieces of St. Bonaventure that were saved from demolition.