St. Agatha – St. James Church

St. Agatha-St. James Catholic Church
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AffiliationRoman Catholic Church
LeadershipFather Carlos Keen
Year consecrated1887
Location38th and Chestnut Streets,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Geographic coordinates39°57′17″N 75°11′53″W / 39.954836°N 75.198142°W / 39.954836; -75.198142Coordinates: 39°57′17″N 75°11′53″W / 39.954836°N 75.198142°W / 39.954836; -75.198142
Architect(s)Edwin Forrest Durang
Height (max)75'

St. Agatha–St. James Church (formerly St. James Church) is a Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The original parish was established in 1850 as the Church of St. James the Greater, the first Catholic parish in Philadelphia County west of the Schuylkill River. Ground was purchased at 38th and Chestnut Streets and within two years a church building was erected. Construction of the current building, designed by Philadelphia architect Edwin Forrest Durang, began on October 16, 1881 and was completed on the same day in 1887.

The church underwent additions in 1930, which included electric lights, and another complete renovation in 2003.

Nearby St. Agatha's Church (at 38th and Spring Garden Streets in Powelton Village) was closed in 1976, and its parish was merged into that of the former St. James Church, which was then renamed St. Agatha–St. James.[1]

The current pastor is Father Carlos Keen.


  1. ^ "Conversion Experience", by Gene Austin, Inquirer Real Estate Writer.

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