Another Piece of Chicago Architecture History Goes From Dust to Dust

Easter is a time to celebrate miracles.  But unless The Big Guy, Himself decides to go all Lazarus on 1319 South Ashland Avenue, Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church is gone forever.

Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church in August 2020 (Courtesy of Little Italy Spy Blake)
Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church in August 2020 (Courtesy of Little Italy Spy Blake)

Little Italy Spy Blake tithed our tip line with the news that demolition crews have finally done with demolition crews do, and turned this once barney building into rubble.  

The code orange pile was originally The First Reformed Church of Chicago when it was built in 1894.  Designed by Theodore Duesing, it was the spiritual home of a congregation of Dutch settlers. They moved to Berwyn a hundred years later.  After that, the building was passed from church to church, until it became such a dog’s dinner that it was racking up Building Code violations like a sideways cargo ship racks up Suez Canal parking tickets.

So, what’s to become of this property?  With any luck it won’t sit vacant for too long.  The demolition permits were issued to people who apparently see opportunity in this space, since their company is called 130 Ashland Opportunity.  What that opportunity is will be revealed in time.

Location: 1319 South Ashland Avenue, Little Italy

Author: Editor

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

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