Philadelphia – Society Hill: St. Peters Episcopal Church

Philadelphia – Society Hill: St. Peters Episcopal Church
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St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, at 313 Pine Street, opened for worship on September 4, 1761 and served as a place of worship for many of the United States founding fathers during the period of the Continental Congresses. Scottish-born architect Robert Smith was commissioned by Society Hill Anglicans to erect in 1758, as a reaction to the overcrowding at Christ Church. The two churches functioned as one parish until 1832 with Bishop White serving as rector of both churches.

Built in Georgian style, the church features many unique design elements. The placement of the wine-glass pulpit at opposite ends of the building, and the seats in boxed pews facing either way, give the church no definitive front or back. In 1842, well-known architect William Strickland designed the landmark tower and spire that still house bells from London’s Whitechapel Foundry.

Bured in the graveyard are several important colonial Americans, including artist Charles Willson Peale, naval hero Stephen Decatur, and George Miflin Dallas, Jame K. Polk’s vice president from 1845 to 1849.

One of St. Peter’s most notable worshippers was George Washington. The grave sites of historical figures such as artist , Charles Willson Peale, Stephen Decatur and James K. Polk’s Vice-President George Mifflin Dallas are on the premises.

National Register #96000969 (1996)