Historic Baltimore Avenue Churches Promote Community Use

Historic Baltimore Avenue Churches Promote Community Use

The sacred places in our neighborhood stand out as landmarks on our blocks and along our avenues but too often we value them from afar. This year, six historic churches in West Philadelphia and their partners will premiere their “Baltimore Avenue Venue Menu” to encourage community use of their incredible spaces.

“We hope to remind Baltimore Avenue of its distinct architectural heritage and the communal assets [here],” said Brad Zinn of Vineyard Community Church, 4523 Springfield Avenue.

This coalition of churches received a $1,000 seed grant from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia to fund the production and publication of the Baltimore Avenue Venue Menu—a brochure designed to demonstrate that the Avenue’s religious properties are open and available for public use. By drawing new people and neighbors into these historic assets, the coalition hopes to build a broader consensus for the preservation of the neighborhood’s community-serving sacred places. The Venue Menu will include a map of the houses of worship along Baltimore Avenue from 40th to 52nd and brief history of the churches and surrounding neighborhoods and will be distributed to neighborhood businesses, organizations, congregations, students, and residents during the fall.

The Baltimore Avenue Coalition includes The Calvary Center for Culture and Community, Hickman Temple, Kol-Tzedek Synagogue, Spruce Hill Christian Academy, St. Francis de Sales, Vineyard Community Church, West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship, Woodland Presbyterian Church, and Partners for Sacred Places, Cedar Park Neighbors and University City District.

For more information about the Baltimore Avenue Coalition or Partners for Sacred Places, contact Molly Lester at Partners for Sacred Places (215) 567-3234, ext. 18 or .

About the author

Andrew Goodman, Community Engagement Director, New Kensington Community Development Corporation

Goodman is currently the Community Engagement Director at the New Kensington Community Development Corporation.

Previously, Goodman worked as a city planner and project manager for PennPraxis. His focus was on projects that combined community engagement and public space design, including the Central Delaware Waterfront Planning Process, the Green2015 initiative for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Bartram’s Mile project in Southwest Philadelphia.  Goodman was an early contributor to PlanPhilly and helped shape the site in its first iteration.  As PlanPhilly grew, Goodman represented the publisher and provided professional planning input and project management support as the site expanded its beat coverage, went through multiple redesigns, conducted an internal strategic plan, and researched revenue generation opportunities.

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