The mailbag rings anew:
Do you happen to have any info about our Lady of Good Counsel in South Philadelphia? I know it closed but thats about it. I can't find a photo of the structure anywhere. By the way...I love the site.
Thank you kindly.
Re: Our Lady of Good Counsel. Most of what the Project has comes from histories obtained from St. Nicholas of Tolentine and the Archdiocese itself. To briefly summarize:
Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) was founded around 8th & Christian streets in 1898 to minister to Italian-Americans in the area; a church was constructed and dedicated the following year. In 1912, the parish established the mission chapel of St. Nicholas, farther south at 9th & Watkins, to minister to families who moved farther and farther from OLGC.
By the 1920s, the parish population dwindled so much that the Archdiocese closed it in 1932; any Italian ministering could be done by other local parishes, including St. Nicholas, and the nearby presence of territorial St. Paul made OLGC extraneous.
Some of that doesn't really make a lot of sense, especially the point about the mission chapel surviving while the main parish dies. It's especially galling because, from what we've heard, OLGC was a much nicer building than St. Nicholas. Project reader Terry Callen opines that OLGC "had it all over St. Nick's."
Such is the life of Archdiocesan parishes.
The PAHRC probably has the best surviving pictures of the building, so there are none we can readily reproduce here. If anyone has any, though, or any additional information you wish to share, please do.
UPDATE 9/29: Melissa at the Historical Society of Philadelphia provided a photo and some additional history.
Nice looking building. All over St. Nick's indeed.