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First Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA

December 18, 2016


First Baptist Church on Sansom Street in center city Philadelphia is just two blocks from a house designed by another architect of interest (William Halsey Wood), so I noticed this building long before I found a postcard image. The is a Sunday School behind (on the left) the domed auditorium, though I cannot confirm a connection between the two. The architect in 1899 was Edgar V. Seeler, also of Philadelphia.

Looking at First Baptist from the air (which I’m certain he never did), I can’t avoid making an analogy with a renown church design by Louis I. Kahn, another latter-day Philly architect. An early iteration of his First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY, could easily nestle beneath that twelve sided dome.


Hmmm. Twelve sides. Twelve Tribes. Twelve Apostles.

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