May 27, 2011

Worship: Catholic

These Houses of Worship were either constructed in the the Township of Lake View (1857-87), the City of Lake View (1887-89), or the District of Lake View (1889-1930)
Some Background 
Irish & German immigrants constituted much of the Catholic population during the City of Chicago (as well as the Township of Lake View) founding years. From 1844 to 1879, 22 territorial parishes mostly Irish - south-side and nine German parishes - north-side were established. After decades of creating geographically defined parishes a horseshoe configuration around 
Cathedral of Holy Name. In the late 19th century the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago adopted 'national' parishes to serve immigrant communities well into the 20th century. 
the first notable one was ...
Old St. Henry's Catholic Church 
6325 N Hoyne Avenue
The parish was once located in the
Township of Ridgeville 1850-57
(Lake View + South Evanston townships)
enlargement - Newberry Library via Explore Chicago
An Account of the Parish 1884 
by A.T. Andreas
"In 1842 the first Catholic settlers arrived in the vicinity of Rose Hill and in 1850 were gathered together in the form of a little society by Rev H Fortmarin resident pastor of St Joseph's Church Gross Point. The few families which then comprised the congregation had been worshiping in the house of Peter Schmitt. At first they met irregularly whenever any of the pioneer priests of Chicago could find time to attend afterward at stated periods. Among those who had care of souls in these early times of St Henry's Parish were Rev Fathers Fortmann Kopp and Kremer from Gross Point. When Father Fortmann came in 1850 preparations were made to erect a church building which was done during this year. In the beginning of March 1863 the Redemptorist Fathers who had been called to St Michael's Church Chicago by Rt Rev Bishop Dungan took charge of St Henry's Parish attending it every second Sunday. The first one of the Fathers who was detailed for this work was the Rev Jacob Nageh who found it necessary to enlarge the church edifice to more than twice its original size. In July 1864 he was called elsewhere and St Henry s Parish was successively served by Rev. Fathers Hahn Majerus Scheffler and Fimmer all of St Michael's Church. About New Year's Day of 1867 the people of 
St Henry's which was then a parish of about sixty families welcomed their first resident pastor in the person of Rev. Edward Haemers. He was succeeded in March 1870 by Rev. J.A. Marschall who after a period of only six months made place in October 1870 for Rev. Andrew Michel Father Michel [who] remained until the 6th of January 1873 when he was removed to Lincoln Logan County. In the month of February his successor the Rev Henry Wagner took charge. He found the people of St Henry's willing and anxious to make improvements and during his short stay succeeded in erecting a new church and transforming the old structure into a school building. On the 15th of September 1875 he was transferred to Mendota LaSalle County and the pastor at that point. The Rev. C.J. Niederberger took charge of St Henry's Parish. His principal merit consists in having reduced the debts of the parish by $4,000 within the short space of three years and eight months. In May 1879 he resigned. The pulpit remained vacant for two months when Rev. A.J. Thiele the present incumbent was appointed to the charge. The present condition of St Henry's Parish is in marked contrast with the feeble society founded in 1850. It has now a congregation of two hundred and fifty families with 1,400 souls. It owns five acres of valuable real estate for church school parsonage and cemetery purposes and the structure in which the prosperous and growing society worship although frame is spacious and elegantly furnished and frescoed. The parish also possesses a fine brick school house containing four school rooms and exhibition hall and it is probable that a fine and substantial parochial residence will be erected."
1887 Sanborn Fire Map location
 a more zoomed view
photo by Jean Ensch (1983)
One of the oldest churches in the City of Chicago as well as the Township of Lake View was Blessed Stepinac Croatian Catholic Mission originally called St. Henry's German Catholic Church. This congregation has had 'nine lives' since its' dedication in 1852 when the 'starter' township was called Ridgeville (1850-1857) and later Lake View Township (1857-1887) and then City of Lake View (1887-1889) ... and then District of Lake View (1889 - 1930ish) and then finally in the West Ridge neighborhood of Chicago. This Catholic tradition began in 1851 when a small frame structure (photo) was built for a small population of Luxenburgers (mostly German-speaking) from Europe (read and view more about these immigrants in my post called Major Ethnic Groups). 
The church had a story that is related historical and geographically to Angel Guardian Orphanage ...
(originally a German private social service organization between several other German populated churches located on the northside of Chicago between the years 1877-1968). 
'The original Catholic church was, in fact, in the middle of Devon Avenue and it was torn down and rebuilt on the corner in 1905, said Rev. Fred Niemeyer, pastor of St. Henry`s. In 1928, Angel Guardian Orphanage took over the church, still standing at the corner, and St. Henry`s built yet another church and school at its present location at 6325 N. Hoyne Ave. When Angel Guardian closed in 1974, the church became the Angel Garden Croatian Catholic Church.'
a 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map view
photo - Deb Rees 
photo - the 49th Ward blog
This parish has one of the last remaining church-yards in the City of Chicago built in 1863 during time of our Civil War. 
The Lake View Township as of 1862 - W.L. Flower Map
The church was located near the communities
 of Rose Hill once known as HenryTown
Devon Avenue in the 1920's with St. Henry's 
in the very faint background
corner of Devon & Western in the early 20th century
photo - Deb Rees
A 1988 article that indicates the link between old St. Henry's and Angel Guardian Orphanage and the death of its pastor
Old St. Henry's has had not only a geographically journey but a building evolution. The church has had 3 other building
re-incarnations since 1851 with the last current one photographed below. In 1928 the Arch Bishop of Chicago gave the 3rd church to Angel Guardian Orphanage (scroll down) and were not too happy about it. By the mid 1970's the congregation had evolved to meet the needs of a new population - the Croatian community in the north-side.
photo - Chicago Patterns with a testimonial
Photos via Tom McDonald in 2018

St. Alphonsus Parish
1429 W Wellington Avenue
photo - Chris Cullen via Original Chicago-Facebook
above image - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson
below image - The City on the Move 

1907 silver jubilee book
The location per this 1887 Sanborn Fire Map
via Historic Work Maps
shows the original church
and in 1891
shows the original built in 1882 and the new church in 1889
postcard - Chuckman Collection
below photo - Ebay

Architecture at its Best for Lake View
postcard - Chuckman Collection
The parish in 1889 registered more than 800 families.  It was imperative to design plans to build a larger church and school to accommodate the increasing numbers and provide for present and future needs. In 1889, the year of township annexation, ground was broken for the new church. Apparently, curious spectators watched as the excavation sank to a depth of 15 feet to firm clay bottom where huge foundation stones were set to sustain the buttressed walls, weighty pillars and lofty tower.Finally, four months later, the cornerstone was successfully laid.The dedication ceremony occurred on October 3, 1897, the dedication of the building was performed by Archbishop Feehan, joined by 30 priests.
 Chicago History in Postcard
St. Alphonsus School - girl's section
1909 photo - St. Alphonsus website
image - Lake View by Matthew Nickerson
image - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson
postcard image - Ebay
Join the conversation on LakeView Historical-Facebook
postcard manufactured with a linen surface by Cert Teich & Co. once located in Lake View on the southeast corner of Irving Park Road & East Ravenswood Avenue 
photo - Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
My thanks to Lance Grey for tip on this video footage
page image - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson
On Monday, October 23, 1950 at midday, the fire broke out (series of 5 photos). Father Joseph Hahn was the pastor at that time. He had just installed the main altar and had completed the redecoration of the church interior. A group of workmen were engaged in the process of replacing the old roof with a new one". Watch this video of the aftermath of this fire on YouTube - my thanks to Lance Grey for this mention.
both photos via Janet Angel Hohn via 
LakeView Historical-Facebook from her mobile phone
3 photos below
Jeff DeLong via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
this fire included the Athenaeum Theatre
photos - Jeff DeLong
Director of Marketing & Development 
at the Athenaeum Theatre
the church was also a community meeting place 
photo - Chicago: City of Neighborhoods and
according to LVH contributor Elizabeth Semerling pre-1951
1989 photo - Robert Krueger via Chicago Public Library
 photos via Flickr 2012
Renovation in 2007-2008
photos via DePrato Rigali Studios
'The church was previously in disrepair. A extensive renovation and restoration was done by Daprato Rigali Studios. The specific work included – restoring the stained-glass windows, new exterior protection glass, plaster-repair, stencil design, decorative painting, new flooring and re-finished the entire sanctuary and all sanctuary furnishings.'
it was part of their Legacy Project

An Aerial View in 2018 ...
photos - St. Alphonsus website

a 2019 winter look - Chris Cullen
2017 photo - Angie Marino, Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
2018 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2018 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2017 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2017 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2017 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2017 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
 2017 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2017 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2017 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
2017 photos - Chris Cullen Photography

 photo - church website
photo - Heavenly City
a stature of their patron-St. Alphonsus
more Chris Cullen Photography 2019 below

Holiday Season 2019
Chris Cullen Photography
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
photo - Roger Denger via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
According to Minerva Sage, “There was a George E Brennan who was a Democratic Party machine politician from Illinois, who died in 1928.” He supported Emmett Dever for Mayor. 
photo - Lake View Patch 2012
 photo - Lake View Patch 2012
photo - Lake View Patch 2012 
 2017 photos - Marcella Kane
A Map History
1894 Sanborn Fire Maps
Apparently the first church was located on Wellington near Wilton (Bluecher Avenue) by 1894 along with several others in the general area that included from right to left - 3rd Reformed German Methodist Evangelical, Centennial German Methodist all along Wellington Avenue (last church is LoMC) and the Swedish Methodist Evangelical on Barry Avenue (Noble) while the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel school was located on Belmont that same year. My guess is the the church on Wellington was in the way of the Howard elevated that was constructed in the early 20th century - eminent domain.
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map highlights only the school/academy
 1923 Sanborn Fire Map highlights 
both the school & the church moved to Belmont Avenue
1950 Sanborn Fire Map highlights improvements since 1923
date unknown
In 1887, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the City of Lake View this congregation was founded as the mother parish of all the English-speaking Catholic congregations of the north sideFather Patrick O'Brien was the founding pastor who built the first church at Wellington near Sheffield. In 1888 the Mount Carmel Academy was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in our present Casey Hall building. By 1913, the present Indiana limestone church structure was built in English Tudor Gothic style.
 both pages - East Lake View by Matthew Nickerson
 photo - 'Lake View' by Matthew Nickerson
unknown date
photo - 'Lake View' by Matthew Nickerson
unknown date
1957 photo - their Facebook page
1960 photo  - 'Lake View' by Matthew Nickerson
One Christmas ...
Christmas 2015 - photos their own Facebook page
Detail of exterior
 lumierefl Flickr via Grace Ray - Pinterest
photo - Ricardo Batres
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht 
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
Renovation image of the interior below in 2011

2013  Winners 
of the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award 
2014 The congregation celebrates 125 years young with photos of the celebration for their Facebook page. View more photos on this parish on their Flickr page.
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
St. Bonaventure Church

In the 19th century the reality of jobs at companies like the Northwestern Terra Cotta Works, the Deering Works of International Harvester and Stewart-Warner Corporation attracted many immigrant workers, farmers, skilled tradesmen and the like to the growing Lake View Community.  It seemed feasible to place a new English speaking church (St. Bonaventure) near Diversy Parkway and Ashland Avenue between St. Alphonsus, a German speaking church and St. Josaphat, a Polish-Kashubian churchThe parish was officially established on October 11, 1911. The cornerstone was laid by Bishop Rhode on August 18, 1912. The main entrance is flanked by two towers that enclose stairways leading up to a low choir loft. The worship space occupies the whole main floor. Corner stairways continue up to classrooms whose windows clearly delineate a separate level when viewed from the street. I could see children's art projects in those windows. The worship space has the original pews and stained glass, but the sanctuary and altar have that stripped-bare, post-Vatican II look.
St. Sebastian Church
once located on two different locations along Wellington 
In 1915 the church was moved physical down Wellington Avenue away from the new elevated tracks according to a Facebook testimony to its new location at 927 Wellington Avenue with is now the property of the Illinois Masonic Hospital per Advocated Hospitals.
Photo above is of a not amused Mrs. Frank Warneke and her father William Krause, who owned of the first business in Lake View Township, The Krause Music Store listed as a historical landmark. Both of them were standing in front of her house at 854 West Wellington Avenue watching their ash tree be cut down by 'house movers' so that Saint Sebastian building could be moved down the street.
1923 Sanborn Fire Map depicting the church and school as well as Illinois Masonic Hospital 
and Chicago Gospel Tabernacle
Florence Avenue = Dayton Street
images - part of my collection
The church was the meeting place for the establishment of the Lake View Police Community Relations Committee a possible forerunner to present day CAPS program per this 172 article below....
1977 - The Roman Catholic Gay Organization called Dignity held its first international convention at St. Sebastian.
text below - Out and Pround in Chicago
Thanks to Art Colletta's contributor to Forgotten Chicago on Facebook for this great photo!
1989 - The church was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The school closed in 1990. The article below tells that tale.
School in doubt in 1989
This church was the home of a 31 years of an old theater group that took its name from Saint Sebastian Catholic Church. The parish is gone but the theatre group remains.  
It is called St. Sebastian Players
Saint Andrews Church
3546 N Paulina Avenue
image - 'Lake View' by Matt Nickerson
1913 photo - Newberry Library via Explore Chicago
photo - St. Andrew's website
The Growth via Sanborn Fire Maps

1894 zoomed view south of Addison Street 
1894 north of Addison Street
  1923 north of Addison Street both sides of Paulina

 1923 zoomed view north of Addison Street
An Anniversary 1969

1961 photos - Keith Banaszak Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
Saint Andrew Parish began in 1894, just one year after the annexation of the City of Lake View in 1889 to the City of Chicago. On October 12, 1894, in response to requests by some 100 English-speaking area residents, Archbishop Patrick Feehan assigned Reverend Andrew Croke to establish Saint Andrew Parish. The first Mass celebrated by the fledgling community was held in a hall above a saloon at the corner of Roscoe and Lincoln Avenue. The first church, a simple wooden structure, was built at Addison and Paulina Streets in 1894 and opened its doors for Mass on Christmas Day, 1895.  The church was dedicated on January 6, 1896.
When the Pastor was Arrested 1970
 page 2
image below - Lake View by Matthew Nickerson
St. Andrew's Golden Gloves
photographer Carl Lydia
photos - UIC via Explore Chicago Collection 2000
4640 N Ashland Avenue
District of Lake View 
Community of Ravenswood

'As part of the archdiocese’s consolidation efforts, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Mary of the Lake were clustered with Lake View’s St. Andrew and North Center’s St. Benedict. Those parishes will remain separate because they have two “large school communities,” but their future will be assessed on an annual basis, according to the archdiocese. Of the four churches in the cluster, only Our Lady of Lourdes is without an affiliated grammar school. Lourdes’ school closed in 2004.' - Block Club Chicago

the original church above

photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
the interior of the original church below
photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
Sanborn Fire Maps 1894
west of Ashland Avenue  
indicates the location of the original church
vacant property east of Ashland Avenue 
 1905 group photo
Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
1920's photo above
photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
1911 postcard - Chuckman Collection
 after the move photo below
  Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection

Sanborn Fire Maps 1928
a year before the move across the street
west of Ashland

east of Ashland

the second church east of Ashland Avenue
Our Lady of Lourdes parish was established in 1892. The original parish territory extended east to Lake Michigan and from Wellington Avenue to Devon Avenue. Originally, the church was a wood frame building with a bell tower on the west side of Ashland Avenue. This was replaced by the current Spanish Renaissance style church in 1916 on the east side of Ashland Avenue.
The Move West ...
In 1929 the city of Chicago and the parish made the decision to move the entire church (video) to the west side of Ashland. After being moved, the church was also turned around and lengthened at that same time. The church weighed in at 10,000 tons and it was moved at “A foot a minute”. 

this particular photo is from Chicagoland Chicago Catholic
 all photos above 
This amazing engineering accomplishment (video) continues to draw attention to this day. This feat was accomplished by a firm called Crowe Construction Management that is still in operation as of 2015. The elementary school operated from 1903 to 2004 - text from their history section of their website
After the Move West of Ashland
per Sanborn Fire Maps 1950
 East of Ashland

photo - Ravenswood-Lake View Community Collection
Interior Views
by Eric Allix Roger

a 2017 aerial view below
by Tom McDonald via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
The Widening & Expansion of Ashland Avenue
by The Edgewater Historical District
1916 proposal map
The idea of widening Ashland Avenue dates back in the 19th century. The Chicago Tribune reported in 1873, that Ashland was widened from W. Division Street to Milwaukee Ave, and again in December 1874, that Ashland was widened 100 feet from Madison Street to the South Branch of the Chicago River. The connection of the street north of the North Branch of the Chicago River was finally realized between 1924 and 1927 hence connecting its separated sections from just north of Devon Avenue to 95th Street.
Ashland initially was a standard 66-foot-wide residential street. A section of 17 feet was taken from the property on each side to increase the width to 100 feet. While part of the cost was financed by the issuance of bonds, part was financed by special assessments paid by owners of property on each side of the street – owners who had part of their property taken for the improvement (and asserted increase in value) which the widening was expected to achieve.

The most notable building to move out of the way was 
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church moving the entire structure across Ashland Avenue – east to west.
St. Mary at the Lake
1026 W Buena Avenue
Community of Uptown
Neighborhood of Buena Park
Our Lady of Lourdes in 2021
photo - Brnyrk
photo - Chicago Wedding Ceremony
This parish was established when Lake View was a referred to as a 'district' of Chicago (annexed 1889) and comprised in the territory known as Buena Park - was bounded by the lake on the east and by the following streets: on the north by Wilson Avenue; on the west by Racine, Clark, and the east line of Graceland Cemetery; and on the south by Waveland Avenue. When this parish was established in 1901, Buena Park was sparsely populated and the lakeshore only reached as far west as Sheridan Road.
Sanborn Fire Map 1894
what the area looked like without the church and school
The Northwestern surface railroad had a station west on Buena Avenue (time before the elevated)
Sanborn Fire Map 1928
a lot of development in 27 years
The Northwestern Elevated & surface (redline) had a expanded station just west of the park on Buena Avenue
the interior views
 photo - Theughfull
above and below photos - Theughfull 
photo below - Nishan P via Yelp
Brubaker, C. William, 1975
Explore Chicago Collection via University of Chicago 
photo - their website
Some 2018 Winter Scenes
by photographer Chris Cullen

Convent of the Sacred Heart 
Preparatory School
1907 to the late 1920's??
3540 Pine Grove Avenue
'In 1876, just five years after the Great Chicago Fire, Mother Elizabeth Tucker and three other Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) arrived from St. Louis to open a school for young women. They found a bustling town and moved into a small house on Dearborn Street, which their school quickly outgrew. The sisters joined the building boom, erecting a building at State Street and Chicago Avenue adjacent to Holy Name Cathedral. At this new facility, the religious operated two schools: the Academy, which had an enrollment of approximately 100, and a parish school, known as the Cathedral School, whose enrollment soon swelled to more than 650.' 
In 1904, the sisters relocated the Academy to a large residence on North Clark Street and then in 1907, purchased twin houses on [3540 N] Pine Grove Avenue in the Lakeview neighborhood. By 1927 a move was necessary due to a growing student population to 6250 N Sheridan Road.' 
photo - school's website
Below is a 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
It would appear the school expanded west that included a chapel on the Broadway side of the illustrated map and if you closely enough to the photo above
St. Clements Church
District of Lake View 1905
642 W Deming Place
2018 photo - Chris Cullen Photography
built in 1917-18
photo - Wikipedia
1923 Sanborn Fire Map highlights the parish church
1930 photos - Fr. Ramil E. Fajardo
 via Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
A More Modern Look 2017
by Joe Huberts
via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook

below photo - Tom McDonald 
via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook

Post Notes:
This post is part of a 6 part series of blog posts about 
'Houses of Worship' according to faith. Most Houses of Worship have attached schools on their private property that I may or may not be highlight in any of these posts. These following posts only briefly narrate a particular institution and 'pray' I did not forget one.
The following are a complete list of posts related to 
Houses of Worship:
 Read the list of all types of churches as of 1905:

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!

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