Friday, June 28, 2013

This Wednesday, two days ago, the demolition of the historic Chicago church has begun.
St. James Catholic Church in Bronzeville, Chicago, was designed by Patrick C. Keely, and constructed in 1875-80. More information on the church is available through the Friends of History St. James Parish that pleaded with Cardinal George of Chicago not to demolish the church that was in bad need of structural repairs (the costs for the project were projected to be big - according to the Archdiocese, or not so - according to the arcchitects/engineers involved in assessment).
The Archdiocese decided to destroy a historic South Side structure (2942 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL ) and erect ($4 million price tag) a bland replacement for the parish a block away.
Archdiocese's decision to erase the past rather than to preserve it is mindboggling but it was to be expected. Was smart it to do so while Card. George's tenure in Chicago is coming to an end?
Yet another ecclesiastical landmark will be missing from the architectural landscape of Chicago - an empty lot, a testament to our cultural impovershment in the hands of an organization that for previous two milennia stood as a generator of culture and a beacon of tradition.

2 comments:

  1. It is nearly impossible to reproduce the beauty of old churches, such as this, today. I cannot understand how a man of culture, let alone one with any religious sensibilities, could bring himself to giving the go ahead to its destruction. So sad.

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    1. I am wondering that myself. Such churches were built on donations of young and old, poor and rich parishioners, and every inch of their interior bespoke of strong faith of the many. Now, that means nothing - it is a budgetary decision made by committees of nobodies and rubber-stamped by a cardinal. Sad day for culture, for the Church, for the city ...

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