First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

Restoration of the Chestnut St. porch exterior masonry is taking place this spring!! Thanks to the Development Working Group, Sarah Maude Kaemmerling's estate, 28 members and friends of the congregation, and the Connelly Foundation, we now have the $69,000 necessary to begin this next phase of the Preservation Project.


Several behind-the-scenes tasks have quietly taken place in the last few weeks. Partners for Sacred Places approved the plans and specifications, revised budget and revised time-line. The church signed contracts for Phase 1 work. The contractor, Knapp Masonry, applied for a building permit. As soon as it is issued, scaffolding will go up and the masons will do mock-ups of spall repairs, re-pointing, and cleaning the limestone. Marianna Thomas Architects and representatives from the Property Ministry Team will inspect and approve all mock-ups. Then supplies will be stored on the porch, and the actual work will begin.


The masonry repairs and re-pointing should take four to six weeks. Then, once the mortar has cured for a month, the porch's exterior walls will be cleaned of rust stains and a century's worth of atmospheric soiling. While all of this work is underway, some mess and disruption is inevitable. The competent and conscientious masonry crew will strive to keep it to a minimum. Please be patient; the end result will be worth the short-term inconvenience.


This work will enhance the curb appeal and protect the structural integrity of the church's main entrance. It will also be an obvious visual demonstration of what is possible for the remaining facade, and will aid us in raising $165,000 for the next phase of the Preservation Project.

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