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Holy Trinity Chapel

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1874, Henry A. Sims; 1995 restored after fire damage, Atkin, Olshin, Lawson-Bell and Associates. 2200 Spruce St.
  • Holy Trinity Chapel (© George E. Thomas)

Philadelphia's industrial heritage is evident in the bold use of unadorned steel for the flying buttresses that rise above the brownstone walls of this chapel of ease for members of the Church of the Holy Trinity ( PH82)—who were spared the journey to church all the way to S. 19th and Walnut streets. Sims was the master of the charming detail; here the projecting side porch on S. 22nd Street anticipates the work of his brother James's pupil Wilson Eyre Jr. With the adjoining parish house, it forms a part of an important concentration of Episcopal churches in this most elite of Philadelphia neighborhoods. Across S. 22nd Street from the chapel is one of Wilson Eyre Jr.'s finest early works, the Neil/Mauran houses, an Aesthetic movement design that united the houses of two friends under a single gambrel roof. The terra-cotta frontispiece around the paired doors with its central buttress is a particularly eloquent treatment of the nature of friendship.

The contemporary brick chapel of ease for Christ Church (now a Christian Scientist congregation) at 1923 Pine Street is by Henry's brother, James P. Sims, and denotes the effort of the city's oldest parish ( PH4) to maintain connections with its westward moving parishioners.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Holy Trinity Chapel", [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, 103-103.

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