Saving the Cabrini Chapel

The Cabrini Chapel surrounded by scaffolding.

With the demolition of Columbus Hospital now complete, all that is left standing is the Cabrini Chapel.

For those of you who don’t know, the chapel was originally planned to be demolished along with the 97-year-old hospital and some other nearby buildings to make way for the much-advertised Lincoln Park 2520 condo block.  But now the chapel has received a reprieve.

The hospital was founded by Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, America’s first home-grown saint.  The chapel was the home of the National Shrine of Saint Francis X. Cabrini.  But it no longer serves that function.  When the chapel was threatened with destruction, the chapel’s relic, a bone from Mother Cabrini’s right arm, was moved to Our Lady of Pompeii in Little Village for safe keeping.

Now LP2520 is being re-drawn to incorporate the holy place in the site plan.

Whether the complex will be built, or not, remains to be seen.  The last peep we heard was back in January when Crain’s ran an article talking about how this is going to be one of the most expensive (per square foot) projects in the city and talking about financing troubles.

Either way, we’re glad this piece of Chicago’s religious history has been spared.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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