Demolition Of A Sanctuary

by Kenny H February. 05, 2013 4742 views

The Ruffin Nichols Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It was built in 1844 and abandoned in 2010.  At 24,000 square feet, it housed three different Episcopalian Parishes.  The church reflects the economically prosperous time in which it was built. Due to the enormous amounts of money this building required for its upkeep, a difficult decision had to be made and that was to sell the building and put the finances to better use.
In addition to the main sanctuary, the property was home to a convent, small chapel, community center, and a school.  There are many beautiful and colorful stained glass windows and a bell tower.  It also has an auditorium which was rumored to have been built from oak from the nearby shipyards, and was last used as a basketball court.  The basement was once an elegant ballroom.  Beyond the ballroom lied a bowling alley.
Many items in the sanctuary dated back to the 1840s.  From stained glass windows, to bowling alley items, there were many relics to be reclaimed with total and complete demolition on the horizon.
Not only was this church featured on National Geographic's “Abandoned” Series, a lot of the artifacts found by the crew, are now for sale on Ebay, such as paralell bars, pew seats circular stained glass windows, bowling ball return, pins, and bowling balls.

Ben Franklin was a member of the congregation that built this church.
The same bell that rang in this tower also rang for the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Once in 1979 lightning shattered this tower.

Edgar Allen Poe was living about 4 blocks from this church when he wrote “The Telltale Heart.”

Harry Hanley Parker, a Philadelphia artist painted the fresco that you can still see clearly behind what was once the church altar.

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Kaå›Ka 8 years, 3 months ago

great ...

8 years, 3 months ago Edited
Mikkal Noptek 8 years, 4 months ago

Beautiful pictures and a sad story. I love #3

8 years, 4 months ago Edited