St. Vladimir's Chuch

Near 1824 Germantown Avenue

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Empty lot where St. Vladimir's once stood

Someone walking just South of Cousin’s Supermarket today will only notice a large empty lot at 1824 Germantown Avenue. The overgrown grass and bushy trees do not hint at the past of this site; there no longer remain any signs of St. Vladimir’s Ukranian Orthodox Church, which was once the center of the Ukranian immigrant community in Philadelphia,  and the head of the Ukranina Orthodox Church in the United States.


St. Vladimir was one of the first Ukraninan Orthodox communities in this country. The church was first organized in 1925 under the name of St. Andrew. As immigration from Eastern Europe heightened in that decade, it’s goal was to gather and build a community of Ukranian immigrants and their families when they arrived in the United States. On April 26, 1928, the church became the head of the first Ukrainian Orthodox Bishop in the United States, Archbishop John Theodorovich.


By 1930 St. Vladimir had expanded to feature a seminary and residence to prepare new patriarchs. One of its biggest supporters was Protopresbyter John Sawchuk who helped grow the seminary. Later that decade he became a leader in the community and helped form the Dnipro, a print shop and parish-based credit union who sponsored neighborhood sports leagues. The Women’s League was another community group of women whose mission was to raise awareness and preserve the traditions of Ukraninan immigrants

Moving Away

The community kept growing, and the church was not large enough to meet its needs. In 1966 St. Vladimir’s congregation moved to its current location in Oak Lane, leaving this church complex to the fate of the market, which eventually tore it down.

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Works Cited

“History.” St Vladimir Ukranian Catholic Cathedral. Accessed April 9, 2020.