Status Update: Steel’s Up at Fourth Presbyterian

Steel is going up on the plot of land behind Fourth Presbyterian Church that used to be a concatenation of building additions.   Those additions were torn down earlier this year to make way for a five-story office and classroom building that’s part of Project Second Century.  The five-story project by Gensler replaces a 71-story skyscraper proposal that was shot down by local NIMBYs, who also happen to live in skyscrapers...

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Another Long-Abanoned Church

  You don’t have to walk very far in most Chicago neighborhoods before you come across a neighborhood church.  And you don’t have to walk much farther to come across an abandoned, or former church. From Saint Dominick’s near Cabrini Green to the dozens of storefront and other Baptist churches on the city’s South Side, there are hundreds of churches in Chicago that have been either abandoned or repurposed...

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Elevating Old Saint Pat’s

Work has begun to add an elevator and a cloister to Old Saint Patrick’s Church (180 South DesPlaines Street) in the West Loop.  The elevator project will give people in wheelchairs reliable access to one of the city’s most historic churches, and the cloister will make a nice gathering space. The area between the church of the Saint Patrick’s campus of the Frances Xavier Warde School (120 South DesPlaines Street) has...

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Slice of Life: The Last Light of Lent

As the sun set on Saturday, it turned the front of Holy Name Cathedral (North State Street) honey yellow. Sunset on Saturday marked the start of Easter, and State Street was closed as Cardinal Francis George lit a massive candle from a fire burning in a cauldron on the sidewalk.  Earlier, a gust of wind almost set Father Matt Compton’s vestments alight, startling the...

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Slice of Life: The Church of Better Days

We’ve all seen buildings that have seen better days.  Because I have a soft spot for churches, this one seems extra sad. This is Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church on South Ashland.  It looks like it used to be another church entirely.  Looking at historic photos of the area, it appears that the church was closed and abandoned for years before becoming what it is now. Unfortunately, it looks like the...

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