Mary Channing Wister School
Mary Channing Wister School entrance, August 2010
Mary Channing Wister School
Mary Channing Wister School
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.