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St. Augustine's Roman Catholic Church

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1847–1848, Napoleon LeBrun. N. 4th St. at New St.

Founded in 1796, St. Augustine's was the fourth Roman Catholic church in the city and was paid for by a lottery that drew support from President George Washington. Completed by 1800 and occupied by Augustinian monks from Ireland, the church served a congregation of Irish immigrants, among them Commodore John Barry and publisher Matthew Carey. It was destroyed by arson in the Know-Nothing riots of 1844 and rebuilt by LeBrun, whose design recalled its predecessor in its brick walls and Pennsylvania blue marble detail. A cupola added by Edwin Forrest Durang in 1867 was in the late Federal mode of the destroyed church, suggesting a continuing institutional memory. The present cupola is a modern re-creation in cast aluminum of the original, which was blown down in a wind storm in 1992. Durang also built the adjoining parochial school (1870).

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "St. Augustine's Roman Catholic Church", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 54-54.

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