Church of the Advocate
Paul and Christine Washington Community Center
Project Type
Square Footage
Construction cost
$2 Million

Kelly Maiello worked with the Church of the Advocate pastor,

vestry, and building committee over a five year period in developing a phased master plan for renovations and adaptive reuse of its complex of five buildings to serve the church's mission of providing services to the community. One of several projects completed in the master plan, the Paul and Christine Washington Family and Community Center is a new building in the historic Church of the Advocate complex in North Philadelphia. The national landmark, which was modeled after the Gothic Amiens Cathedral, was built in 1887. 

Our solution was both an intervention and invention. The design integrates the remains of the chapel ruins into a new building made of modern materials compatible with those of the historic complex. The chapel’s old south and west walls were stabilized, but could not take the additional loads. Our design for the new building inserted a new steel structure in the interior. Exterior elevations reflect the rhythm and texture of the former chapel.  At the interior, steel roof trusses and a pine wood ceiling evoke the memory of the old hammer beam truss and roof. The new facility provides office space for community outreach programs, classrooms and a gymnasium.

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Photo/Image credits:  Halkin | Mason Photography