Demolition Approaches For Code Orange South Side Church
Aug23

Demolition Approaches For Code Orange South Side Church

A number of holy places in Chicago have met their demise over the last 20 years. Some have been repurposed. Some have been demolished. The former Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church looks like it’s next in line to meet the hot kiss of the wrecking ball. Saint Stephenson Missionary Baptist Church in August 2020 (Courtesy of Little Italy Spy Blake) Little Italy Spy Blake sent in the photograph above, showing the current...

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Century-Old Bronzeville Church Likely to be Landmarked
Jan13

Century-Old Bronzeville Church Likely to be Landmarked

In an era when so many of Chicago’s holy places are being abandoned, repurposed, or even demolished, it’s good to see a building that has been a cornerstone of its community on the road to preservation.  The Chicago Landmarks Commission has approved landmark designation for the building that is now Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church.   Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist church (via Apple Maps) The building opened in March...

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Wayback Wednesday: Lord, Snow Down On Me
Jan08

Wayback Wednesday: Lord, Snow Down On Me

It was ten years ago today, January 8, 2010 that we took this photograph of what was then known as the Episcopal Church Center at 65 East Huron Street, just off Michigan Avenue. That’s where a life-sized bronze statue, appearing half man and half angel arched its back, stretched its arms, and welcomed the coming snowstorm. Saint James Commons on January 8, 2010 A year earlier this space was renamed Saint James Commons to go...

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Abandoned Two-Story School To Become Eight-Story Hotel
Nov18

Abandoned Two-Story School To Become Eight-Story Hotel

Back when Chicago’s Immaculate Conception parish and Saint Joseph parish were individual communities, there was a school on the corner of Orleans and Hill Streets, next to Cabrini Green.  Saint Joseph School at 1035 North Orleans Street closed almost a decade ago, but a real estate developer is trying to re-open it as a hotel. 1035 North Orleans Street (via Apple Maps) The conversion involves adding six stories on top of the...

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Neighborhood Church To Become Offices and Homes
Nov18

Neighborhood Church To Become Offices and Homes

We’ve seen plenty of Chicago houses of worship transformed into housing in the last 20 years.  What’s proposed for 4601 South Ellis in Kenwood has a twist — offices. 4601 South Ellis (via Apple Maps) Saint James United Methodist Church moved out of its marvelous house of worship in 2010, and now an application has been filed with the city to give it a new life.  Fortunately, like most Chicago buildings that go...

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From House of God to House of Bob in Ukrainian Village
Aug12

From House of God to House of Bob in Ukrainian Village

As Chicago evolves, we’ve seen a number of its holy places left behind.  While some are unlucky and are abandoned, others find a new purpose as places to live in a town with a housing needle inching toward the “crisis” end of the gauge. The Revival, August 2019 (Courtesy of @properties) The latest building to be born again is the former Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, at 921 North Hoyne in...

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Historic Uptown Synagogue-Turned-Apartments Opens Today
Mar21

Historic Uptown Synagogue-Turned-Apartments Opens Today

A smidge over two years ago we told you that the landmark Agudas Achim Synagogue at 5029 North Kenmore in Uptown was going to be turned into homes. Now the building’s haphak is complete, and people can start to move in. The Synagogue (Courtesy of Cedar Street) As we gushed back in October of 2016: This isn’t just any abandoned place of worship, though. Its roots go back to the legendary heyday of Maxwell Street, and it’s been...

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1,011-Foot-Tall Skyscraper Ready To Start Across From Holy Name Cathedral
Mar14

1,011-Foot-Tall Skyscraper Ready To Start Across From Holy Name Cathedral

You know we live in interesting times when news of a 76-story skyscraper moving forward is the second biggest news of the week. That’s where we are now with One Chicago Square (740 North State Street). Rendering of One Chicago Square Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the developers of the project in the parking lot across the street from Holy Name Cathedral have gotten the money in order to begin construction. It comes...

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A Bronzeville Civil Rights Landmark on the Road to Renovation
Nov19

A Bronzeville Civil Rights Landmark on the Road to Renovation

A historic South Side church has been selected for a renovation grant. Bright Star Church was one of 178 organizations that applied for funding from the National Fund for Sacred Places, and one of only 14 that were selected. Bright Star is headquartered on East 44th Street, but holds services at  Roberts Temple, a city landmark at 4021 South State Street. You may not know the name, but you know the place if you have an interest in the...

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The Stunning Before-and-After Pics of Second Presbyterian’s Peace Window Restoration
Aug06

The Stunning Before-and-After Pics of Second Presbyterian’s Peace Window Restoration

Some of the most amazing pieces of architecture in Chicago are its churches.  And one of the best churches in town has just been given a significant upgrade. Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue) in the South Loop recently had one of its big windows re-installed after a $312,000 restoration. The Peace Window was badly damaged, and encrusted with a hundred years of filth.  If you think the dirt on your office windows...

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