• Tabernacle Presbyterian Church

The Iron Gate Theater is a secular performance venue located within a national historic landmark building that also houses the Tabernacle Church and the Christian Association.

Iron Gate Theatre Location

3700 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA, 19104

Iron Gate Theatre

Building Code:
Total Project Cost:
Year Built:
Theophilus Parsons Chandler
Other Name:
Tabernacle Presbyterian Church
Download Penn Access PDF:

The Tabernacle Presbyterian Church was once the center of a wealthy neighborhood and had a sizable congregation. The heavily rusticated exterior of the church is detailed in precise Gothic terms, as evidence by the corbel tables around the cornice an above the second stage of the tower, the elaborate window tracery and the multiply pinnacles and gabbles. The interior contains an outstanding hammer-beamed ceiling decorated with wood carved flying angel bearing shields. 

The growth of the University of Pennsylvania and changes to adjacent neighborhoods reduced the size of the supporting congregation. The sanctuary was converted to a theater for use by the University's performing arts department without altering the interior. A nursery school area was renovated as a space for worship for the Presbyterians congregation and the United Church of Christ congregation that have shared the church since 1958.

(source AIA Philadelphia)