After sitting empty for 30 years, The Baptist Temple at Temple University in Philadelphia, built in 1891, will reopen April 14 as a meeting and event space following a $30 million renovation.
The 36,000-square-foot building, located on North Broad Street in Philadelphia, has theater-style seating for more than 1,300 people and has been transformed into a center for meetings, and events, plus arts and cultural performances.
“We are thrilled to breathe new life into The Baptist Temple,” said Charles Bethea, executive director of the temple. “The Baptist Temple blends the old with the new.”
The building is in the heart of Temple University’s campus and has hosted prominent intellectual and political figures, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Margaret Mead, and Anne Sullivan, and Helen Keller.
The Grand Foyer is the temple's main lobby, with space for up to 300 guests. All of the temple's rooms can be served from a staging kitchen located on the lower level.
The architecture firm RMJM worked to preserve the building’s historic features, from the iconic Rose Window to the Chapel of the Four Chaplains. Designated as a Landmark Building by the American Institute of Architects and certified as a Historical Building by the Philadelphia Historical Commission, many aspects of the 119-year-old building had fallen into disrepair.