First, a few ground rules.
1. We’re only going to include churches that we have covered so far. University City’s gorgeous St. Agatha – St. James may very well be the nicest church around, but since we haven’t visited personally, it will have to be omitted for now.
2. We’re judging churches by how they look today. Perhaps not fair, as most churches have to go undergo décor renovations at some point, some more drastic than others. (Tabula Rasa, and so forth.) But again, we can only evaluate what we’ve seen personally. That St. Anne was absolutely gorgeous in 1947 doesn’t count, because we never saw it with our own eyes.
3. As a corollary to the above, abandoned churches don’t qualify. It’s not fair to judge them after years or even decades of The Long Goodbye.
4. Likewise, neither do demolished churches. Sorry, .
#10: St. Anne, Kensington
Speaking of St. Anne, they clock in at #10 on our list.
Why They’re Here: Pretty much an awful décor all around. The bunker-like exterior—the so-called “fortress of faith”—is squat and ugly. Likewise, much of the interior is either plain or putrid. Or, as in the case of the renovated windows, both. Yes, it’s not entirely their fault, as a 1947 fire erased what looked to have been one of the best interiors in the city. But without a time machine, there’s nothing we can do.
Very little to write home about here.
Why They’re Not Lower: The sanctuary pieces are perhaps the best we’ve seen. And they have a graveyard. Plus, I kind of feel bad for them, with the whole fire thing and all.
Not bad enough to leave them off the list, but bad enough not to rub their faces in it.