In the 1860’s, Philadelphia’s Brewerytown was a small German enclave nestled alongside the Schuylkill River. It was as its name suggests a hub for distillers. Plentiful water from the river & easy access to nearby farmland had given rise to several successful breweries. By 1890 Philadelphia would be home to several hundred distillers & Brewerytown would be home to several thousand people. Where would faithful Catholics gather? Why, St. Ludwig’s Catholic Church, of course! Built in 1891, St. Ludwig’s was a source of pride for the local German community. Lavish interior & exterior details abounded despite the humble economic means of its congregation. An elegant steeple, elaborate stained glass windows, & polychromed interior vaults signaled the community had “arrived”.
By the mid 1970’s Brewerytown’s original German inhabitants had dispersed & St. Ludwig’s was forced to close in 1975. Fortunately for this wonderful building, a new congregation stewards it. In 1976 St. Ludwig’s became the Acts of the Apostles Church in Jesus Christ which has since gained a reputation for extensive charity work in the local community. Favorite bits? That wonderful steeple! Also, that Victorian polychrome interior!
More on Acts of the Apostles Church here.
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