Thursday, May 7, 2015 @ 6:00 p.m.
Auditorium of St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church
4625 Springfield Ave., University City, Philadelphia
Free and open to the public. No registration required.
In 1969, the Church of St. Francis de Sales – a landmark church in the Byzantine Revival style (Henry Dagit; 1907-08) – reopened after alterations that addressed changes to the Catholic Mass. Comprising elements built of vinyl, Plexiglas, and neon, the design by Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown was radical, controversial, and removed within a year by the parish. Now, after over 45 years, join us for a revealing conversation and tour about the project’s conception, execution, and the firestorm that ensued.
Landscape architect, Sue Weiler, will provide an introductory tour of the architecture of St. Francis de Sales, including its magnificent Guastavino dome; William Whitaker, curator of the Venturi, Scott Brown Collection at Penn’s Architectural Archives, will talk about the VSB design and the architecture of the period; and Father John McNamee, parish priest at the time of the change, will recall his role as pastor and client during a time of social change.