Howard Haas adds to his below Weekly Update that the Baptist Temple is on Philadelphia’s North Broad Street. It is just a few blocks south of the Uptown Theatre, the Art Deco movie palace also closed since the mid 1970s and whose nonprofit owners are also hoping to one day reopen it.
FRIENDS OF THE BOYD WEEKLY UPDATE
Thanks to the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia for sponsoring
a tour yesterday of Temple University’s refurbished historic Baptist Temple.
Built in 1889, by 1975 the church building was closed. The building was so
endangered that Temple University initially declined to accept the
Philadelphia AIA Landmark Building Award. However, with a new president,
Temple University decided to renovate the historic church into a wonderful
and unique performing arts and event facility. Pennsylvania Governor Rendell
authorized $27 million of the overall $30 million renovation cost. It
reopened in April of this year after a loving rehabilitation.
The building’s general manager conducted the tour along with project
architect Ken Jacobs and Tom Normile of structural engineers Keast & Hood.
The reopened building combines historic and beautiful original features,
with state of the art accessories. Here is a photo of the main 1200 seat
The auditorium retains its historic stained glass and ornate metal railings.
The official website shows the ornate facade and some of the gorgeous
stained glass that is present throughout the building:
Historic renovation projects take time in Philadelphia, but they do get
Howard B. Haas