The news about the dwindling number of Chicago holy places is mixed this week. On Thursday (June 3, 2021), the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider two proposals related to the city’s religious history.
In Bridgeport, the Monastery of the Holy Cross is up for landmark status. It’s the former Immaculate Conception Church on the corner of 31st Street and Aberdeen that so often would fill the surrounding block with delightful choir music on warm, peaceful summer afternoons. These days, it’s the home base of a small community of brothers who moved to Chicago from small town Minnesota. They are responsible for restoring the formerly abandoned building into its present state. They’re also into Gregorian chants, eating two meals a day, running a bed and breakfast out of the former church, and if you need a coffin, they can hook you up. They also managed to snag the interesting web address chicagomonk.org.
It’s expected to receive preliminary landmark status.
The news is less good up in Lincoln Park, where the Cenacle Sisters have applied for a demolition permit for their complex at 513 West Fullerton Parkway, just west of North Clark Street.
There aren’t enough sisters left to keep running the spiritual retreat center. So they want to tear the complex down, and sell off the land. It was built in 1967, so don’t expect Landmarks to stop the bulldozers on this one.