Look Up! Furness chapel survives at Mt. Sinai Cemetery

Look Up” is a PlanPhilly feature that encourages appreciation of our architectural and historical environment. The photo essays focus on a different Philadelphia area neighborhood and its distinctive building styles and details, all of which make up the physical fabric of the city and region.

Aside from some of Philadelphia’s most beautiful museums, banks, train stations, and homes, architect Frank Furness designed many building for the city’s religious communities.

Unfortunately, most of the structures consigned by the Jewish community, including the Jewish Hospital, Jewish Orphanage, and the original Rodeph Shalom Synagogue, are gone.

One survivor is the Mt. Sinai Cemetery Chapel, built in 1892 for the burial grounds at Bridge and Cottage Streets in the Frankford section.

The subdued, small-scale stone building features circular Moorish window and door openings, Arts & Craft eaves, and a radiating corrugated stone design around the entrance and receiving vault.

Mt. Sinai was founded in 1854 and is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the city. The mausoleums and gravestones contain the names of some of Philadelphia’s most prominent families, including Snellenburg, Gimbel, Paley, Binswanger, Solis-Cohen and Rosenbach. 

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Contact the writer at ajaffe@planphilly.com.

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“Look Up” and check out Henry Disston’s company town
“Look Up: and check out Spruce Hill
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