Demolition underway for iconic Fishtown church

Slowly, but surely, the Saint Laurentius Church is coming down. The demolition of the 141-year-old church has officially begun. It’s been a long time coming, after the building was deemed in danger of collapsing.

"I’m pretty sad. That church was really nice and the windows were really beautiful!" neighbor Barbara Bonnie Dicesare stated.

The Fishtown landmark is being taken down, piece by piece, after first opening in 1882.

"My main concern is making sure my employees, myself, my husband and the neighbors are safe," Jennifer Johnson, part owner of HC Site Construction, said.


The church has been closed since 2014, due to safety concerns.

Michael and Jennifer Johnson are not only husband and wife, they’re also owners of HC Site Construction, the ones in the hard hats in charge of the historical task. They’re quick to point out the exhaustive safety measures involved in a demolition of the size and scale of the church.

St. Laurentius church, in Fishtown, is being demolished.

"We’re dropping everything through these shoots that go into the basement and, that way, we don’t have trucks rolling in and out at the time of the demolition and it’s less vibration up on the tower. The one’s [church tower] in bad shape, so we want minimal vibration," Michael Johnson explained.

While the work continues, neighbors who have raised their children nearby, like 58-year-old resident Barbara Bonnie Dicesare mourn its loss. The construction company kind enough to give a piece of the building to Bonnie for her kids.

"She wanted a brick from St. Laurentius and the one’s that is running it gave me three bricks. So, I will call my daughter up and tell her to come get her bricks," Dicesare added.

As far as what is next for the area, the school will remain and part of the front entrance will remain intact. Neighbors hope something useful for the neighborhood will go in its place.