Painted Ornament Restoration
Recently had an opportunity to reproduce a damaged ornament in historic St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, located in South Philadelphia. The problem stemmed from water damage, and masonry repair had been completed. I don't know the age of the ornament, but it was most likely in the last century, as it was on canvas and covered an earlier mural or ornament as I could see beneath the flaking paint.
Built in 1840, it was founded as a free church, "relying on freewill contributions rather instead of pew rentals and annual fees" the usual custom of the time. It was the first free Catholic school in the Phila. Archdiocese. Bishop John Neumann- now St. John Neumann introduced the program of the Forty Hours of Devotion in the United States at St, Philip Neri in 1853.
It is also "historic for its unwelcome role as the focal point of the the most violent Nativist riots.. The Southwark riots of 1844, with our church at its epicenter, were the first time.. government troops were forced to raise arms against civilians to maintain public order"
"... St. Philip Neri is the first building we can definitely attribute to (Napoleon) LeBrun (1821-1901)... LeBrun's most important contribution to Philadelphia secular architecture is the Academy of Music (1855) on Broad Street." quoted from Historic Sacred Places of Philadelphia, Roger W. Moss.
After a fire in 1897, which destroyed the interior the church, the interiors were redesigned by the architect Frank R. Watson (1859-1940).