Long after the school closed, the building comes down

Long after the school closed, the building comes down

Photos by James A. McBride


Demolition began July 28 on a long vacant building on Seventh and Federal streets in Camden that had at one time served as a school and convent. Middle photo, a view of the building (on the left side of the photo) from Seventh Street in 1972. Right, a recent view of the vacant building from Federal Street.

CAMDEN – Standing tall in Camden for more than 100 years, it took three days to tear it down.
A long-vacant building on the corner of Seventh and Federal streets that had, at different times, served as a school, convent and woman’s prison, was demolished last week for safety reasons. The land that the former building stood on will be utilized for parking.
Built in 1908 and extended in 1936, the building, only steps from the Diocese of Camden’s Pastoral Center Offices and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, had been a parish school; part of Camden Catholic High School; and a convent for the Sisters of Mercy who taught at the high school.
After a 1960 fire destroyed two buildings that were part of Camden Catholic’s campus in Camden, the high school moved to its current location in Cherry Hill, and the former convent was leased as a women’s prison.
For decades since then the building has remained vacant.

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