A Philly Story: The Cathedral

In keeping with the theme of church related items from Philly, I want to feature some from the another area congregation.  Like private homes and commercial buildings, houses of worship occasionally take on updates and restoration.  The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception had in the basement a collection of no longer used items from the church, social rooms, rectories and class rooms.

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image source: http://ukrcathedral.com/about.html

The Cathedral is located in the Northern Liberties district in Philadelphia and was erected in 1966. This building replaced the old Cathedral Church at that time.  Inside and out the Cathedral is gorgeous but as the website says, “the completion of the interior embellishments is an ongoing process which will continue over the years.”

Some changes are choices and some are not.  It is common practice for Catholic Churches to have displays of small candles for the faithful to use as part of a devotional prayer.  More and more, these real candles are no longer used in churches for insurance purposes and are being replaced with electric or battery powered prayer candles. The Cathedral is one of those places that has decided to switch, and now these beautiful displays are available in our store.

The large gold displays have 102 small holders in the center and 20 large holders on the sides and across the top.  In the center of the top is an electrified light socket under the cap and cross.  They measure 65″ wide and 21 1/2″ deep and have small casters.  We have 2 of these.  They do not include glass votive inserts or candles.

The one smaller iron display has 40 small holders and 5 large ones across the back.  The base is twisted and scrolled wrought iron.  There is a slot for donations on the front.  The total dimensions for this smaller one are 28.25″wide by 44″high and 15.5″deep.

I hear you, you aren’t a Church, so what the heck would you do with a piece like this.  No worries.  We have some ideas…wine rack. cups with craft supplies. bird feeder.  Or how about this one?  Take the top section off.  Put the candle holder in your unused or faux fireplace and partially fill it with candles.  Now it looks like you have a blazing fire.  You can use the base as an aquarium stand, plant stand, or garden art.  Can you imaging dozens of tiny herbs growing in them?

Let’s see what else we have acquired from the cathedral.  A few short pews that are 54″ long, shown below. The back is 32″ high, the seat is 17″ off the floor in the front. Several have kneelers attached but they can be removed. Stained and varnished oak.  They are a nice size for a front entry or mud room where people are taking shoes on and off.

 

Holy water “urn” with a stainless steel upper canister marked HOLY WATER on the top handle and an aluminum legged base. It stands 45″ high and could have many reuse options (with no disrespect intended to its original use).  Exceptionally clean and unmarred.  Lemonade?

Next up: front row pew.  Paneled section in varnished oak with capped ends, kneeler, Bible holder on back side.  Front side is also beautiful paneled wood, no seats.  8′ 1″ long by 38″ tall at end cap.

The Cathedral housed a school for many years so we now have several chairs that have an arm with a tablet table, all right handed. Some seats have numbers stenciled on the back, and the traditional school desk carvings.  Wood is varnished and frames are sturdy metal.

This is interesting…a 49″ tall octagon cupola or dome. Brilliant and metallic colors, beautifully painted, tiered with an onion top that may have been the base for a cross(?).  It is quite a stunning piece.

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Assorted tall metal candle holders originally used in the main sanctuary.  Very sturdy.  Could be spray painted a new more inspiring color.  Would make great bird bath stands.

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This is a special find.  A bell/gong from the church.  This was used during special services and events.  Made of bronze it has a sacred sounding tone when rapped with the wooden mallet.

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We would like to take the opportunity to that the community at the Cathedral for their dedication to reuse by offering these materials to Restore of Philadelphia.  Let’s give them new life!

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A Philly Story: Narberth Church

In March of this year, Restore of Philadelphia salvaged this vacant church which had been the oldest house of worship in that borough until the new owner decided to replace it with apartments.  ReHouse has now acquired some of the unique architectural details that formerly called this church home.  Here is the story.
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image source: Google Street View
The Baptist Church of the Evangel, was the oldest house of worship in the Philadelphia borough of Narberth.  Building for the church began in 1891 and was completed the next year.  This is the original structure.
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Image source: S. F. Hotchkin, Rural Pennsylvania in the Vicinity of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, George W. Jacobs & Co., 1897), p. 55; collection of the Lower Merion Historical Society
The church building was enlarged in 1924 to its final size.  An article from the Our Town paper of Narberth, PA on January 28, 1928 offers the following view of the beautiful grey stone building.  You can read the entire 34th anniversary article HERE.
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In an effort to save as much history as possible, Restore of Philadelphia was able to salvage what they could before the building came down.  Their original blog post is still available HERE.
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image source: Restore of Philadelphia
They removed the “enormous pair of doors that entered the congregation room.  Each door is 33″ wide and with the pair together in the frame, the overall width is 6′ and the height is 93″.  Each door is 3 full inches thick with massive hinges.  The jamb frame was buried in the floor about 5 or 6 inches to stabilize the pair.  Gorgeous, massive, impressive, functional, endless possibilities.  Trim for the door stopped at wainscoting on the other side and was inside the tile on this face side.  All parts that can make it work again are here and ready to reinstall.”  $3880.

 

Other doors from the church include some interesting sizes and hardware.  These 6 panel saloon style doors are from bathroom stalls.  They measure 33″ wide and only 66.5″ high.  They include decorative handles, side stoppers, and swinging hinges.  We received 3 of the 4 that were removed.

33w x 66.5h. #91844. $245each.

Next we have some 5 panel doors in the same dark finish solid pine.  The church originally had 26 of these doors throughout and in varying conditions.  We have at least 4 with the natural wood finish as shown and several that have been painted on one or both sides.  One has 2 hearts cut out near the top.  I wonder what room that went to. These do not include hardware.  Lastly, there are a few with ventilation panels on the bottom half.

29.75w or 36w x 84h. #various. $95-120

 

Snail Mail: Ancient History?

An unusual acquisition for ReHouse, 2746 antique and vintage postcards, was checked in this week filling almost 6 drawers of an equally unusual file cabinet.  Someone had obviously been an avid collector of places and stories, and perhaps there are others like him who will be interested in leafing through to find the missing piece for their own collections.  Certainly no one will be sending these artifacts through the postal service again.  Or will they?
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Do not doubt the power of personal snail mail in this day of instantly received e-mails, frequently updated Facebook pages, and gone-in-an-instant Snapchat posts when the only mail in the mailbox that actually has your name on it is a bill or a bank statement.  I don’t know about you, but even those exciting notices go to my inbox rather than my mailbox.  When was the last time you received a physical piece of mail that was not typed or mass produced?  Your birthday?  Or was that via Facebook too?
When was the last time you received or sent a card or a letter to a friend, colleague, or loved one?  Can’t remember?  That’s what I thought.  Here is your chance to spread some joy along with me, and you can choose how to participate.
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1. Inspire a Friend, Colleague, Loved One
Choose one or more postcards (I know where you can get 2746), write a quick note of inspiration, and then allow the mailman the pleasure of delivering it to someone important to you.
Supplies per card: 1 card, 1 postcard rate postage stamp, pen or pencil of choice.
Cost: $2.34 each
2 cards might be in a collection focused on Rochester History
2. Add to a Postcard Collection
If you know a postcard collector you can choose one or more to surprise them with to add to their special collection.  Find out about what and how they collect.  Our cards are divided by state, country, topic, etc. so you will have an easy time finding one to fit their individual collection.  Most are already in protective sleeves which collectors love, but if you plan to mail these, consider placing up to 3 in an envelope.  Many collectors of antique postcards do not like new writing on their specimens.
Supplies per card: 1 card, 1 first class postage stamp, 1 envelope
Cost: $2.50ish plus $2 for each additional card you include
2 cards made by local artist and ReHouse employee, Julie Wasson
3. Create a Piece of Mail Art
Get inspired by the art of Nick Bantock, artist and writer of the Griffin and Sabine book series, and create your own mail art.  Use your favorite permanent glue to adhere images, words, phrases, or photos to your original postcard.  Cover with a layer of Mod Podge or thinned Elmer’s School Glue to protect your work.  Make sure your card is still 2D and will not fall apart on its journey through the postal service.  Use a regular First Class Stamp to account for the possible extra weight of your additions.  Send your creation out into the world to inspire others.
Supplies per card: 1 card, 1 first class postage stamp, words and images cut from magazines or other mail, etc. glue, a pen or pencil of choice
Cost: $2.50 is the base price per card. Actual cost will vary based on your materials.  How would you even estimate the cost of magazine clippings?

Still not convinced of the versatility and usefulness of The Postcard?  Visit our new Pinterest page, “Postcards: Repurposed” or simply search “postcard” to discover these and other amazing ideas for salvaged postcards.

  • postcard covered walls
  • postcard travel journals
  • altered postcards
  • maxicards
  • postcards as story tellers
  • postcards as historical documentation
  • encouraging postcards
  • postcard garlands
  • postcard pendant lamps
  • postcard borders around doors and windows
  • postcards and summer fun
  • postcards as geography lesson
  • neat and tidy postcard displays
  • crazy chaotic postcard displays
  • postcards filed in boxes
  • postcards in window frames