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Kearsley Home

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1857–1858, John M. Gries. 2100 N. 49th St., West Fairmount Park

The earliest and by far the most elegant of the West Park retirement buildings is Kearsley Home, formerly known as the Christ Church Hospital—meaning essentially a hospice. Built as a home for retired ministers of the Episcopal Church, it was designed by the city's most adventurous new talent of the 1850s, evidenced by the early use of Victorian-era colorism, here the polychromed voussoirs above the windows. The main block with its projecting buttresses, pointed windows, and central tower heralded the coming Victorian Gothic. A plaque memorializing Gries in the entrance hall gives the flavor of the era, reporting that he “entered the Army for the Suppression of Rebellion as a Major of the 104th Regiment PV (Pennsylvania Volunteers), was wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, VA in gallantly saving the colors of his regiment and died at Philadelphia June 14, 1862 in the 35th year of his age. As a patriot he gave his life to his country. As a Christian he trusted his soul to God in Jesus Christ.”

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Kearsley Home", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-PH140.

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, 123-124.

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