Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Year of Hell Would Be a Godsend

Question: when would be a parish be happy to make it to the Year of Hell?

Answer: when things get so bad it's forced to close 12 years earlier.

That's right! Case in point, West Philadelphia's St. Gregory, at 52nd & Warren Streets, which closed in 1981, a full 12 years before the Year of Hell, 1993. Now that's a bad area!

(Yes, I know that the YOH is usually used in connection with the North Philadelphia Swath of Destruction, but it can apply elsewhere as well. 1993 marked the end of many parishes in Chester, for example.)

Anyway, Gregory's building has become Caveat Emptor'd into a Protestant church. But for those looking to relive the good old days,
Project reader Terry Callen was good enough to send over some photos of St. Gregory, including a prized interior shot, and a stylized photo from a 1911 postcard:


  1. Lots of history for my dad's paternal side of the family with that church..baptisms, weddings, funerals...

    Another neighborhood that got destroyed, starting back in the mid-1950s.

  2. Another pic of Saint Gregory's....

    I did a Google search of 52nd & Warren the other day...where you get the photo thing. "Slum" would be too kind a word to describe that neighborhood now.

  3. Saint Gregory's main altar