Look up at the façade of Covenant Presbyterian Church (2012 West Dickens Avenue) in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, and you will catch a glimpse of this church’s colorful past and of Bucktown’s history as home to a vibrant Polish community.
While the congregation of Covenant Presbyterian Church has worshiped in this space since purchasing it in 1993, the church was originally dedicated in 1931 as the Cathedral of All Saints. John G. Steinbach designed All Saints for a group of parishioners and an excommunicated priest who had severed ties with Saint Hedwig Catholic Church, a Polish parish mere blocks away.
Covenant Presbyterian’s white imitation cement stone and neo-Gothic features distinguish it from other Polish Cathedral-style churches designed by Steinbach and his partner, Henry Worthmann. A carving above the main entrance depicts a book, the sun, a cross, and a palm. Together, these images comprise the emblem of the Polish National Catholic Church, the denomination with which All Saints had affiliated itself. Below these symbols lies the Polish inscription “Prawda, Praca, Walka,” an abbreviation of the denomination’s motto, “With truth, work and struggle, we will succeed.”