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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name McDowell Memorial Presbyterian Church
Reference Number 13000744
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia
Town Philadelphia
Street Address 2040 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/18/2013
Areas of Significance Architecture
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The McDowell Memorial Presbyterian Church is locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture for its embodiment of the distinctive characteristics of exterior materials, massing, plan, and physical relationship to the street typical of Philadelphia churches of its period; and as a notable example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, a national design idiom. The McDowell church is also important for the high artistic values inherent in its interior decoration, particularly its remarkable set of Tiffany stained glass windows, including an unusually large and impressive window arch over the pulpit dais, and in its architectural carving. The combination of the overall organization of the church, its style, and high quality of its interior decoration represent the distinctive characteristics of the national trend in the 1880s and 1890s toward theatrical, auditorium-plan churches. The McDowell church meets Criterion Consideration A, since, while it is a religious property, it derives its primary significance from its architectural and artistic distinction. It should be noted that while this property is currently owned by an African-American congregation, it does not derive its significance from its association with any of the historic contexts developed in the African-American Churches of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Multiple Property Documentation Form and is nominated independently of that cover document.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria