Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church. 11th Street above Jefferson Street Philadelphia


This lithograph from circa 1854 shows an exterior, oblique view looking southwest at the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church, located on 11th Street just north of Jefferson Street in Philadelphia. The two-story Roman Corinthian-style church, with a large rotunda, was erected in 1853 after the designs of the prominent American architect Stephen Decatur Button (1813–97). He moved to the Philadelphia area in 1848, where he designed numerous commercial buildings, churches, schools, and houses. Corinthian pilasters and narrow, arched windows adorn the front facade, which is surmounted by a dome and lantern made of wood and tin. An ornate iron railing extends south from the church to the partially-visible adjacent three-story row house located at 1528 North 11th Street. This view includes five pedestrians (two couples and a woman) walking on the sidewalk in front of the church. This was purportedly the first —and possibly the only— Methodist church in Philadelphia to have a dome or spire. A fire destroyed this structure on January 18, 1857, and a second church, modeled on the first building, was completed in 1858. This lithograph was completed by the artist John Frampton Watson (circa 1805–66), who worked as a lithographer and printer in Philadelphia from 1833 until around 1866; the printing firm was Wagner & McGuigan, one of the premier and most prolific lithographic establishments of the mid-19th century.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Printed by Wagner & McGuigan, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Tabernacle M. E. Church. 11th St. above Jefferson St. Philadelphia

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph, tinted with two stones ; 58 x 48 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 739

Last updated: January 8, 2018