Wednesday, June 10, 2009

South Philly way back when
1967 but it looks like the ’50s. More recent photos (not of the same spot) are here. Yes, I know the church and its history: St Elisabeth’s was built by Anglo-Catholics who converted to Rome en masse after the Open Pulpit Canon (in which the Episcopalians began occasionally allowing non-Episcopalian Protestant ministers to preach) in 1908; afterwards it limped along for decades (at one point it was a soup kitchen trying to convert Italians, which flopped) before closing in the 1990s. Last time I went by it was a COGIC church. From here.
It was in fact Italianate, and, although such an idea would have been most repugnant to its builders, it was exactly fitted for the purpose it now fulfils — the proselytizing of the Italian immigrants. In those days there was not a single non-American inhabitant in the district. Proselytizing [of Catholics] was something that Dr. Percival and his associates regarded with little less than horror.
— From 1935

I just worked 14 hours so normal blogging will resume in a few more.

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