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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One Final Look Inside Noble Square’s Saint Boniface Church
Aug01

One Final Look Inside Noble Square’s Saint Boniface Church

For close to a decade we’ve been telling you about the saga of Saint Boniface Church in Noble Square.  Completed in 1904, shuttered in 1990, since then it’s watched both its convent and school fall to the wrecking ball. Over the years, there has been lots of talk about turning the building into something more than it currently is, and in the last few years that notion gained steam with Stas Development’s plan to turn...

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Historic Church to be Bulldozed to Help the Homeless
Oct25

Historic Church to be Bulldozed to Help the Homeless

What is believed to be the oldest wooden church still standing in Edgewater isn’t expected to be standing much longer. Summerdale Community Church is giving its sanctuary at 1700 West Farragut Avenue to the Night Ministry. If you’re not familiar with the Night Ministry, it’s one of the less visible backbones of the city, helping hold society together at its tattered edges. More specifically, you know how high-minded...

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Bronzeville Church Building for the Future
Oct11

Bronzeville Church Building for the Future

While many of Chicago’s holy places have been abandoned over the last 20 years, there are still a number of religious communities that are thriving. One of them is the Apostolic Faith Church at 3823 South Indiana Avenue in Bronzeville. Joe Zekas of YoChicago! was flying over the church recently and took this photograph above, showing progress on the church’s new expansion, described by the church this way: The new complex features a...

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Add St. Boniface to the List of Chicago Holy Places Going Condo
Sep25

Add St. Boniface to the List of Chicago Holy Places Going Condo

Hardly a month goes by that plans don’t surface for one, two, or even three of Chicago’s shuttered churches or synagogues to be converted into new condos or apartments.  The latest name to add to the list: Saint Boniface at 1348 West Chestnut Street in Noble Square. It was a close call, too.  Preservation groups raised the alarm way back in 2002 that the church, with its pairs of towers facing south and west, would meet...

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Near North LDS Chapel Ready to Rise
Sep06

Near North LDS Chapel Ready to Rise

Back in the spring we were the first to tell you that the long-delayed plans to build a new chapel for the Church of Later Day Saints in River North was finally moving forward. Now, with foundation work already underway, the city has given the Mormons permission to go full steam ahead at 822 North Clark Street. Permit issued for new construction New construction: Full building permit for proposed 6-story large assembly use church with...

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Downtown Mormons Get Help From a Higher Power: A Great Big Crane
Jul27

Downtown Mormons Get Help From a Higher Power: A Great Big Crane

Last month we were the first to show you the renderings and give you the details about the new downtown Chicago chapel being built for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. Well, it’s been a busy month at 816 North Clark Street, as you can see from these photos that Near North Spy Tim put in our collection plate.. er.. tip line. They show the progression over the last few weeks from empty lot with a lonely cone to an...

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A Year After Groundbreaking, Work Begins on Downtown Chicago Mormon Temple
Jun01

A Year After Groundbreaking, Work Begins on Downtown Chicago Mormon Temple

The newest spire about to pierce Chicago’s sky isn’t a fancy apartment tower along the lakefront.  It’s a place of worship. Two permits issued in the last few days show that work is finally going to begin on the very long-awaited downtown Chicago temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 816 North Clark Street.   Currently, its adherents meet in a space shared with three other congregations.  Not...

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Will Saint Boniface be Erased?
Apr05

Will Saint Boniface be Erased?

All around Chicago, abandoned churches are being repurposed into new apartment and condo buildings.  It’s not an ideal situation to those wistful for the days when a neighborhood church held the community together, but when put in “green” terms, the most environmentally-friendly structure is one that’s already built. But that kind of adaptive reuse may not be in the offing for Saint Boniface (1358 West Chestnut...

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Fire-Damaged Church Will Be Saved, But There’s a Long Way to Go
Mar01

Fire-Damaged Church Will Be Saved, But There’s a Long Way to Go

Roman Catholics in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood have something to thank God for today — Their beloved Shrine of Christ the King has a future. The church complex was ravaged by fire in October of 2015, doing an estimated three million dollars in damage.  The destruction was so severe that it was believed the entire building would have to be torn down because what remains is unsafe. Now, all that has turned around.  At the time...

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