Mailbag 27: An Old Favorite

The Project's hostile attitude toward South Philadelphia makes it easy to forget that there's actually a few gems to be had. One of them is St. Gabriel, which we visited way back in the beginning of the Project, really liked, and then promptly never said another word about.

Hey, I can't help it if people keep emailing me about the same five churches over and over again.

Fortunately for St. Gabriel fans, Hidden City Philadelphia didn't forget. (Thanks to Bob MIller for passing this along.)

Inside the Shimmering Nave

Kind of a weirdly constructed piece, since it seems to talk about the large 1995 renovation in somewhat recent terms. (St. Gabe's has continued doing various projects since then, but 1995 was the big one.)

Nevertheless, it's good to see this oft-forgotten parish get some attention. And even nicer that Hidden City used our picture and even gave us credit for it. Take that, plagiarists!

Mr. Miller also gets props for one of the more unique suggestions I've received.

I know you very well might not take a suggestion, particularly one that is a. age wise outside of your usual parameters (too new) and b. outside of Philadelphia (near Doylestown). It is however a. Catholic and b. Polish. It would be the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa near Doylestown. Lots to see, there are some interesting parts of the shrine, even if the main church might be not to your usual tastes. There are some massive stained glass (floor to ceiling and at least 1/3 of the side walls) in the main church, mosaic stations of the cross, (original art work), massive altar piece, and a number of smaller chapels ranging from a plain country chapel in the cemetery to a replica of the Polish shrine in the homeland. There is also a lot of major sculpture in the cemetery. The website is not the best when it comes to working smoothly, part in Polish, part in English. Lots of pictures in the gallery. the best time to visit would be during one of their feast day events or the annual Polish Festival around labor day. You could wander and take pictures like the rest of the tourists, I mean pilgrims.,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Bah, I take pilgrimages to a whole new level. And yeah, maybe even those famed Polish architects had an off day now and again.

That said, well, we're capable of some strange things. Don't hold your breath waiting for this one, but you never know. After all, the only thing for sure about the Project is...nothing's for sure.