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Holy Cross Methodist Church

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1890–1891, Thomas P. Lonsdale. 333 N. 5th St.

H. H. Richardson's massive Romanesque styling and strident color for Boston's Trinity Church were here adapted to a Methodist auditorium plan by a Philadelphia architect. Lonsdale established an important client base with the Methodist Church in the 1880s and early 1890s, among them the First Methodist Church, Lancaster, 1889 (1946 rebuilt after a fire); the prestigious Western Methodist Church of Philadelphia, 1892 (now Beth Zion Synagogue); and Denny Hall, Dickinson College, 1896 (1904 destroyed by fire). Here he demonstrated a gift for exaggeration with the overly stumpy columns framing the entrance, the massive tower, and the strident contrast between the granite walls and brownstone accents.

North Fifth Street continues with a slight bend to become Centre Street where many of the industrial elite built houses. Several are depicted in Art Work of Reading (1897), including another house attributed to Frank Furness for Morton Harbster at 740 N. Centre Street. It shows an astonishing display of cylindrical and circular forms attached to a tower that rises from a brownstone base.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas



  • 1890


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Holy Cross Methodist Church", [Reading, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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