Space has been cleared, but there’s no actual construction yet down at Old Saint Mary’s Church at 1500 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop. As part of its “Phase III” project, it is constructing a new parish center for the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Chicago (no matter what Old Saint Pat’s people claim).
The project is already about a year behind schedule, but groundbreaking ceremonies were held earlier this month. The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell cantered by recently and found that demolition is complete, and the lot is ripe for development. OSM vision for the new building is:
…a 17,000 square foot Parish Center that will house some Parish offices closer to the front Michigan Avenue entrance, have multiple meeting/classroom spaces, and a gymnasium/social hall with a retractable performance stage. The project is estimated to cost $3.4 million. This cost includes demolition, construction, and facility equipment.
The architect is Charles Newman of Newman Architecture out in Naperville.
According to the church bulletin, it unfortunately doesn’t have the money to complete the project, so it’s in the middle of another fundraising campaign. It’s already borrowed money from both the elementary school and the parish’s savings account. But that doesn’t mean the project isn’t moving forward. It appears the hold up was paper-related. The city of Chicago only granted the church a construction permit a few days ago:
City documents put the value of the Old Saint Mary’s parish center at $2.5 million.