St. Stephen's Church, Tenth Below Market, Center City
            Philadelphia

Worship
Music
Contact Us
Location
Community
Events
History
Links
Home

History

In 1823 William Strickland, Philadelphia’s premier architect designed St. Stephen’s Church - one of many buildings he built in Philadelphia. St. Stephen’s is one the few of his church buildings which has survived. It was a unique design in its day - heralding the end of the neo-Classical style and ushering in what became Gothic revival. The first service was held on February 27, 1823.

St. Stephen's - Circa 1860
St. Stephen's - Circa 1860

During the Centennial year of 1876,  St. Stephen’s played host to people of every nation who came to Philadelphia for the festivities. In 1878 a much needed enlargement of the church was effected by breaking through the north wall, and building the transept and gallery. Frank Furness was the architect for this addition. He also decorated the walls of the entire church. This redecoration represented the exuberance of the high Victorian age of which both Furness and St. Stephen’s were emblems. In the photograph below, which was taken about 1917, can be seen the transept, with its rose window, and some of the stencils which Furness applied to the walls throughout the church.

St. Stephen's - Circa 1917
St. Stephen's - Circa 1917


Furness Stencil Detail
Furness Stencil Detail