Gloria Dei Episcopal Church
This feasibility study explores the expansion possibilities for Gloria Dei Episcopal Church (Old Swedes) in South Philadelphia. The church is the oldest in Pennsylvania and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The land surrounding the church property is owned and operated by the National Parks Service. Both parcels are enclosed by a brick wall that separates Gloria Dei from the 21st century bustle of the city. In contrast to the openness of the bucolic grounds, the placement of the existing buildings and the intimate courtyard they define, are remnants of an earlier, denser urban fabric. The church tower has a strong visual presence throughout the site and is the main point of reference for the proposed design. The scale and materials of the new addition are respectful of the existing buildings, while providing modern spaces to meet evolving needs. The first floor will contain educational, meeting and office spaces. The second floor will house a Missions partner. A new public lobby connects the addition with the existing Riverside Hall, formalizes an entry to the courtyard, and frames views of the tower beyond.