Ukrainian Village Church One Step Closer to Going Condo
A Chicagoland developer is expected to get a thumb’s up on his plan to turn a Ukrainian Village church building with an attached school into 20 condominiums.
Alex Troyanovsky bought the former Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (913 North Hoyne Street) in February of last year. A month later, the city named the Henry Worthmann & John Steinbach-designed buildings a city landmark. Worthmann & Steinbach designed at least 30 churches in Chicago.
When the Commission on Chicago Landmarks meets this week, it’s expected to vote in favor of the residential conversion, with certain conditions:
- The stained glass windows must be preserved
- Walls can’t end at an exterior window
- New windows must have a historic looks, similar to the existing windows
- The rooftop addition must be dark in color
The developer also wants to punch a series of skylights into the roof of the building, but the landmarks commission wants proof that they’re necessary first.
It’s been a rough life lately for the church. It was built between 1905 and 1906 by German immigrants, though the congregation and school trace their history back to 1867. Eventually (possibly in 1974?) the original congregation left this building. It was later occupied by several other churches over the years.
By 2002, when it was known as the Central Hispanic Church, an engineers report noted significant structural movement. Enough so that in places the floor had separated from the walls.
In 2005, the interior was stripped bare, with all of the pews and other furnishings removed.
In 2009 a city water main broke and the basement was flooded with gushing water for months before it was discovered and stopped.
Scavengers have ripped out all of the building’s plumbing and wiring, causing extensive damage in the process. They also made off with some of the stained glass windows.
With the church is such terrible condition, it’s easy to understand how the city would allow it to be converted into residences. Let’s hope the new owners are able to reverse what age, thieves, and neglect have done to the buildings.