Monday, October 31, 2016

Fishtown Church For Sale

Church of the Living Word

The Church of the Living Word, 2345 E Susquehanna Ave near the fork, first sale list date was 2016-06-26 and updated on 2016-10-30. A very reliable source told me in early October that it's hoped the sale of the church would result in a conversion into apartments. The missing piece of information is the status of the the application for historic designation. The application filed on July 9, 2016 identifies the Fifth Reformed Dutch Church, Kensington.  Period of Significance (from year to year): from 1863 to 1968    Date(s) of construction and/or alteration: 1863 and 1886. The corner stone bare these dates. The application is well researched and provides clear history of this now Fishtown neighborhood.
The Fifth Dutch Reformed Church, constructed in 1863, survived in the same location until its dissolution in 1968. The Fifth Dutch Reformed Church on Susquehanna Avenue represents a longtime German stronghold in Kensington, exemplifying the economic and cultural characteristics of that section of Philadelphia.*  St Michael's Luthern church at Cumberland and Trenton Ave also served the German Community.
The Rev. Charles F. C. Suckow (1840- aft 1922) was a long time pastor of Fifth Reformed, serving for over forty years (from at least 1879 to after 1922).* He is seen here in the original configuration of the church which marks fifty years with the dates of 1861-1911.

The church organ pipes now stand covering the projecting bay that first served as the pulpit. It also had two stain glass windows that have since been covered outside with siding material. The interior of the church has strong wood wall paneling with a beautiful wooden balcony. Massive wooden ceiling cross beams are visible. The entire ceiling that arches above the beams is paneled in wood.
 The church property was sold by the Classis of Philadelphia of the RCA (Reformed Church of America) to a local Philadelphia church called The Church of the Living Word on February 15,1968 for $15,000.00. It is this church, The Church of the Living Word of Philadelphia, which appears to be the current owner, or at least, the last owner of record. (Deed: The Classis of Philadelphia of the Reformed Church of America, to The Church of the Living Word, 15 February 1968, No. JRS059_472* (The listing is an interesting read.)

(click picture for slideshow)

 Chronicles 19:13

* historic nomination application

words and pictures by roman blazic_all rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. You have many outstanding photographs here. The stain glass windows are vibrant. The picture of the piano is haunting. Thanks for sharing