How can historic sacred places support civic engagement, social cohesion, and neighborhood equity?
Philadelphia has hundreds of active congregations acting as stewards of underutilized sacred spaces. Whether it’s an empty sanctuary, a sparsely-used meeting hall, or a mothballed Sunday School wing, these spaces offer real opportunities for the performing arts, for human service programs, for community events, and for the incubation of new programs and initiatives that build social capital and make neighborhoods stronger.
The Community Design Collaborative and Partners for Sacred Places asked the design community to share best practices in repositioning purpose-built sacred places as community hubs. These projects – built, in-progress, or yet-to-be-built – begin to demonstrate that underutilized space in historic sacred properties can be activated in ways that expand the civic commons, serve a larger secular purpose, and strengthen communities.
We hope they inspire you!