Mary Channing Wister School
MC Wister School Philly.JPG
Mary Channing Wister School entrance, August 2010
Mary Channing Wister School is located in Philadelphia
Mary Channing Wister School
Mary Channing Wister School is located in Pennsylvania
Mary Channing Wister School
Mary Channing Wister School is located in the United States
Mary Channing Wister School
Location843–855 N. 8th St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates39°58′01″N 75°09′02″W / 39.9670°N 75.1505°W / 39.9670; -75.1505Coordinates: 39°58′01″N 75°09′02″W / 39.9670°N 75.1505°W / 39.9670; -75.1505
Arealess than one acre
Built byMcCloskey & Co.
ArchitectIrwin T. Catharine
Architectural styleArt Deco
MPSPhiladelphia Public Schools TR
NRHP reference No.88002333[1]
Added to NRHPNovember 18, 1988

Mary Channing Wister School, originally the Mary Channing Wister Public School, is a historic school building located in the Poplar neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was designed by Irwin T. Catharine and built in 1925–1926. It is a three-story, three bay, brick building on a raised basement in the Art Deco-style. An addition was built in 1960. It features a freestanding portico with Doric order columns and decorative tile.[2] It is named for the civic leader Mary Channing Wister, the wife of Owen Wister.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.[1]

In 2001, the building was renovated to become a new forensic science laboratory for the Philadelphia Police Department.[3] While the facade remains true to the original design with little change, the inside of the building was completely renovated and designated a Green building. The new laboratory is called the Forensic Science Center, operated by the Office of Forensic Science within the Philadelphia Police Department.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes Jefferson M. Moak (May 1987). "Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form: Mary Channing Wister School" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  3. ^ Gambacorta, David (August 6, 2009). "Behind-the-scenes crimefighters". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 11, 2017.