Calvary Church, 48th & BaltimoreCalvary United Methodist Church

48th Street & Baltimore Avenue
Brown, Gillespie and Carrel, Architects



Architecturally magnificent Calvary United Methodist Church, one of Philadelphia's finest late Victorian gems, is located in the heart of University City. The acoustically perfect sanctuary features magnificent woodwork, heroic murals and a world class Brothers O'Dell Organ, but the church is best known for its monumental Tiffany windows and stained glass domes.

chapel window
chapel window

Tiffany window
(above) One of the endangered
Tiffany windows
(left and above left) Two of the chapel

The Organ and SanctuaryThough in near original condition, decay and roof leaks have done considerable damage to the sanctuary. Worse, structural problems in the twin gables threaten not only the exquisite Tiffany windows, but also passers-by on the street. To completely restore Calvary and its remarkable interiors will require three quarters of a million dollars, money which the congregation simply does not have.

Stone carving on Calvary ChurchIf University City and Philadelphia are going to retain these artistic treasures, action must be taken now. The University City Historical Society is sounding the alarm and is attempting to help the congregation to find the resources to save this remarkable building. At present, the building serves not only as a place of worship but also as a community center, and the hope is to develop the sanctuary for use in the performing arts, a program which would itself do much to revitalize the Baltimore Avenue corridor.

YOU CAN HELP! Please contact the University City Historical Society at P.O. Box 31927, Philadelphia, PA 19104; phone (215) 387-3019; or e-mail

Photos courtesy J. William Marr

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