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March 28, 2014


The Saint Laurentius Church worship site in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia will be immediately closed until further notice. The building has been examined on multiple occasions over the past several months by an independent engineering firm. An inspection conducted earlier this week led to a recommendation to close the site. This recommendation was accepted by the Archdiocese, which authorized the closure out of concern for the safety of parishioners, students and the surrounding community.

In accordance with requirements set forth by the City of Philadelphia's Facade Ordinance Bill that was enacted in 2010, an initial facade inspection was performed by independent engineers on the Saint Laurentius Church building during fall 2013. That process revealed a number of outstanding maintenance issues including vertical cracks in the brownstone masonry, improperly completed cement patch repairs, and deteriorated faces of brownstone. Protective scaffolding and netting was installed around the church building in an effort to maintain the safety of parishioners and members of the community.

As a result of a follow up inspection conducted this week, structural engineers have noted that the condition of the building has greatly deteriorated because of the weather this winter and is in imminent danger of a collapse.

The future of the church building is still being considered. All masses will be celebrated at Holy Name of Jesus Church moving forward. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will continue to work with parish leadership, engineering consultants and the City of Philadelphia to ensure the immediate safety of parishioners, students and the community at-large.


Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications

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