Special Walking Tour

This event is no longer on sale.

Saturday October 1

10:00 AM  –  12:00 PM

**Special Tour** St. Vincent de Paul Church

On September 2, 1849 the cornerstone for St. Vincent de Paul Parish was laid. Construction of the church’s nave was completed on July 13, 1851. As the congregation was initially small, it took additional years to raise the funds and complete the construction of the remainder of the church. The completed St. Vincent de Paul Parish is remarkable for its design, which is a unique blend of Italianate and Greek revival styles. As funds were raised from the expanding Catholic community, the transepts and dome were completed, and the ultimate Greek cross architectural vision was executed. The completed St. Vincent de Paul church assumed its place over the skyline of Germantown in 1859. 

Join us on a tour of St. Vincent de Paul, recognized in this year's Preservation Achievement Awards for their work in the Church's roof restoration and interior rehabilitation. The projects consisted of replacement of the roofing systems, repair of wood trusses, fabrication of a new gilded cross, interior conservation and repainting of the iconography and plaster walls, replacement of the electrical service and re-lamping the interior of the Church, replacement of the flooring system and the commissioning of new Stations of the Cross which will be installed in 2022.

Meet at the Rectory next to the Church at 109 E. Price Street. Philadelphia, 19144 

Sylvester Peterka has been the pastor of St. Vincent De Paul Church and Parish since 2012. Father Sy was ordained a Vincentian priest in 1976. His vision and persistence at St Vincent de Paul facilitated the replacement of the domed church roof and rehabilitation of the church interior. He also had oversight of the merger of three parishes into one St. Vincent’s for the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Father Sy was pastor of two African American Catholic parishes in Baltimore for twenty-two years. He also advised on priestly formation for Vincentians in ten African Nations.

Christina Demtrovits Woody is a lifelong member of St. Vincent de Paul parish in Germantown, Philadelphia.  She is a graduate of Ravenhill Academy and Chestnut Hill College with a BA in Art History. She is an active member of the St Vincent de Paul Interior Committee and is the building’s historian.  

Jacqueline Lynch has been a member of St. Vincent de Paul parish since 2015. She is a graduate of Catholic University and the University of Maryland. The deteriorated conditions at St. Vincent’s church inspired her to learn about and participate in, as co-chair of the Interior Committee, efforts to celebrate and rehabilitate the physical environment at St. Vincent de Paul. She was instrumental in obtaining a Partners for Sacred Places/ National Fund grant for the interior plaster and painting conservation.

Nan R Gutterman, FAIA, FAPT has been a preservation architect at VITETTA for almost 35 years. Her list of projects includes St Vincent de Paul Church since 2017, stabilization of the tower at St John the Baptist in Manayunk and several projects at St Charles Borromeo Seminary. She has also worked on the exterior envelope renovations at Philadelphia City Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Drexel Main Building. She serves as a member of the architectural committee of the Philadelphia Historic Commission.  

Know Before You Go:

Kindly remember that this is an active sacred space. Please no loud talking. 

  • During tours, facemasks will be optional for all individuals including the tour guide
  • Facemasks may be required to enter buildings on certain tours. Please bring one with you in case it is needed 
  • Preservation Alliance walking tours utilize an audio system that transmits from a headset worn by the guide to earpieces worn by tour attendees. The equipment is thoroughly sanitized before and after each use. Tour attendees can also plug in their personal headsets or earbuds that use a standard headphone jack (Not compatible with Bluetooth or Apple earphones).

Space is limited. Advance registration required.

Email us at tours@preservationalliance.com for any questions or join the waitlist for a sold out tour!