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February 27, 2015

Temporary art installation to take over St. Andrew’s Chapel

The vacant church will open its doors for three nonconsecutive weekend days, including this Saturday and Sunday

The Arts Visual Arts
C-Lines Michael Bixler/Hidden City Philadelphia

"Seeing Between The Ci-Lines: St. Andrew’s Chapel Awakened With Art And Geometry"

On Spruce Street in University City, the shell of an old church, St. Andrew’s Collegiate Chapel, stands like a mysterious, lifeless elephant.

But on Saturday, the nearly decade-old forgotten building will shake off its dust and take in a breath of new air as it's transformed into a temporary art installation space. Then the art will disappear and the doors will be closed once more.

The three-day exhibit, Seeing Between The Ci-Lines: St. Andrew’s Chapel Awakened With Art And Geometry,” is the brainchild of Brooklyn-based artist Aaron Asis with the assistance of the fifth-graders from the Penn Alexander School.

It will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Feb. 28, March 1 and March 14 only. St. Andrew’s Chapel is located at 4205 Spruce St. For details, call (215) 382-7811 or go to


The purpose of the exhibit, Asis told Hidden City Philadelphia writer Michael Bixler, is “to spark renewed interest in the vacant sanctuary to ensure its preservation and future as an enduring neighborhood landmark.”

“Ci-Lines is deliberately visible and invisible at the same time, much in the same way vacant buildings are often perceived throughout our everyday urban landscape; as under-appreciated community icons, rich with memories of past and realities of the present,” artist Aaron Asis, to Hidden City Philadelphia.

The artwork will include a web of electric blue parachute tethering strung and weaved throughout the inner architecture of the empty sanctuary, Bixler wrote.

History of the Chapel:

The chapel was built in 1924 and belonged to the Philadelphia Divinity School, founded in 1857 to educate Episcopalian priests.

University City Associates purchased the buildings and property in 1977, and the multi-building campus is currently home to the Parent Infant Center and the Philadelphia Writing Project, though the chapel remains uninhabited.

Read the entire Hidden City Philadelphia article here.