Lawyer: Effort to save landmark church is continuing

Posted: December 06, 2012

The effort to save the historic Church of the Assumption at 1133 Spring Garden St. is not over, said Samuel Stretton, lawyer for the neighborhood group trying to prevent the demolition of the building where St. Katharine Drexel was baptized.

Stretton, who is representing the Callowhill Neighborhood Association, said the city should not have granted a demolition permit to Jonathan Wei, who bought the building in July. Siloam, the social service agency that had owned the building, had received a demolition permit, but Stretton was appealing that decision before Commonwealth Court. Because of the appeal, the city should not have given Wei the go-ahead, Stretton said.

The city's lawyer, Andrew Ross, said the permit is connected to the property, not the owner. He also said that if Wei topples the church before the appeal is completed, it would be at his own risk should Stretton's appeal win in court. - Miriam Hill

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