Originally built in 1801, The St. Augustine Church was the first order of its denomination built in the United States and also housed the largest theological library in the city. Unfortunately, during the infamous anti-Catholic Nativist Riot of 1844, the church was burnt down to the ground destroying over 3000 volumes and some rare books. The second church was constructed in 1847 by Napolean LeBaron, an architect responsible for other Philadelphia landmarks including the Academy of Music and Cathedral of St. Paul and Peter. The church is an example of Palladian architecture and has impressive features like the white marble alter, Mexican onyx tabernacle and beautiful stained glass windows (all representing different saints) that lets colorful light into the church. This Roman Catholic Church is responsible for the founding of Villanova University and the Philadelphia Orchestra, both prestigious organizations in Pennsylvania.
Attractions & Landmarks, Religious