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Trinity Church, Oxford

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1711; 1875, Frank Furness. 6900 Oxford Ave.

Before Roosevelt Boulevard unleashed the vast numbers of row houses, there were small villages scattered along the post road and later, suburban neighborhoods near railroads. Unquestionably the earliest building in the region is this remarkable treasure, the oldest active site of Anglican-Episcopal worship in Pennsylvania. The single-aisle church ends in a rectangular apse—unlike the polygonal apse of the slightly earlier Gloria Dei Church ( PH33)—but the Flemish bond brickwork, with ornamental diaper patterns in glazed headers, is comparable. According to The Early History of Trinity Church (1885) by the Reverend Edward Buchanan (brother of the U.S. president and rector of the church), the tower and belfry were added in 1875 evidently by Frank Furness, who had recently completed renovations to St. Peter's Church ( PH18). This tower, with Furness's variation on the original brickwork—purplish-red headers instead of black in a Flemish bond—might be a dwarf version of the St. Peter's spire. Within, raised sgraffito ornament, now covered under layers of paint, suggests a program of Furness decorations on the order of his work at the First Unitarian Church ( PH105). These were perhaps commissioned in the mid-1880s at the time of installation of a memorial window to Buchanan.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Trinity Church, Oxford", [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, 156-157.

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