Mailbag 10

Sorry for disappearing again. The Project was occupied managing a project of a different sort: a bachelor party! No, I can't tell you more. We have to maintain a certain decorum around here, after all.

Anyway, let's get back into the swing of things with an entry from the mailbag:

I came across your website when looking up info on the Catholic School, church, rectory, convent I went to when I lived in Philly from 1961 to 1965. I can find no pictures of St Edwards and your listing of churches visited does not include that one.

Do any pictures exist? Does the church still exist? I looked around the net and as I said there is not much info? I lived at 2527 N. 8Th Street at the time and I figure that since St. Edwards was turned into toast then the neighborhood must have went to Hell as well.

I went back up to Philly in 1986 (thought I might want to move back after my 1st divorce) and stayed with my Aunt and Cousin who lived in Ben Salem, Pa and they were so scared of going back there I didn't make it. Sad... I was a altar boy there and I have vivid memories (and some nightmares) of going there for 4 years. Life was magic then. Going to Gimbles for Christmas. I reckon Gimbles is gone as well :( BTW, seeing nuns anywhere my left hand still hurts, as they didn't like me writing with my left hand ;)

Anyway thanks for giving this old southern boy (I was born in Florida) a glimpse into my past.

Keep up what y'all are doing

John Feilke

Lincolnton, North Carolina

St. Edward, formerly at 8th & York Streets in North-Centralish Philadelphia, was one of the more unfortunate victims of the North Philadelphia Swath of Destruction. In fact, that whole area pretty much just died, church-wise--St. Boniface and St. Bonaventure--as well as the now-demolished Our Lady of Mercy. All were exceptional church specimens. I've praised Germantown as being the best, but once upon a time, this section would have easily taken the cake.

The impressive St. Edward still stands, although it was Caveat Emptor'd into the Highway Temple of Deliverance some years ago. Lord only knows what alterations have been made in the interim, although a priest who has kept in touch with the new owners once told the Project that they had faithfully maintained what was left behind. Of course, he also promised to send me pictures and never did, so he's not the most credible of references.

The Project will hopefully find out for itself someday. It's a sketchy trip, to be sure, but nothing we haven't faced before. I'm not surprised that Bensalem residents didn't want to try, though. It's certainly not for the faint of heart--or milquetoast suburbanites.

Oh, and yes, Gimbels is long gone. But that's another story altogether.