Sans tower crane, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints keeps building

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, under construction at 822 North Clark Street.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Rendering from Dixon + Associates.

At 822 North Clark Street in the Near North, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seems to be getting along splendidly without the tower crane it shed back in February. Architect David Dixon of Dixon + Associates in Salt Lake City shared some of the features of his design. There will be a partial floor below grade for parking, then six stories above grade. A two-story chapel is included, with the possibility of adding a second, smaller chapel on the top floor in the future. There will also be an outdoor, landscaped courtyard on the fourth floor.

McHugh Construction is on the build.

The Near North loses a tower crane

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Meetinghouse

A street crane prepares to pluck the tower crane from atop 822 North Clark Street on Saturday morning.

It was Crexit (Tower Crane Exit, obvs) Weekend in the Near North, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 822 North Clark Street dropped its tower crane. Remember, that’s only a seven-story building, so the crane got things done and got out of there in a hurry. Where could it be headed next? One Grant Park? The Hilton hotels at 123 East Cermak? Those are the two most recently-permitted tower cranes for Chicago.

Construction Update: Soul City Church builds in the West Loop

Soul City Church

Soul City Church in the West Loop is building a three-story addition.

Soul City Church, at 1150 West Adams Street in the West Loop, filed a building permit with the City of Chicago back in October to complete a three-story addition next to the existing church. Now, Focus Construction has erected the steel work for the 45,000-square-foot addition. When finished this summer, it will include a new auditorium, office space for church staff, and covered parking.

Construction Progress: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Chicago

There are bricks in the wall at the new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Near North. The 7-story design by Dixon + Associates of Salt Lake City, Utah has already climbed to the sixth floor. McHugh Construction has been on the job since May of last year.

Before we head to the photos, here’s a reminder of what David Dixon of Dixon + Associates sent us last summer:

The new building in Chicago is unique for the Church. While they typically complete a new standard single-story meetinghouse every day somewhere in the world, this project is specifically designed for Chicago.  Following the Neoclassical Romanesque Revival style of architecture, the building will incorporate the traditional red brick and limestone appearance that is prevalent in this area of Chicago.  It will be six stories above grade (three meetinghouse and three parking levels) with a partial story of parking below grade.  The building will open in about a year with a two-story chapel and associated classrooms. The top floor can accommodate another smaller chapel and classrooms in the future.  Three or four congregations from the downtown area will utilize the building with staggered meeting schedules.  A unique feature of this building is a landscaped courtyard on the fourth story.  The courtyard provides semi-private outdoor space that could be used for receptions, mingling between meetings, or children’s activities.  Plans were presented to the local neighborhood and were very well received.


Demolition underway at former Park View Lutheran Church and School (updated**)

Park View Lutheran Church

The former Park View Lutheran Church, currently being demolished in Irving Park.

There are four new single-family homes coming to the Irving Park neighborhood, as demolition crews have already begun demolishing the Park View Lutheran Church & School that stood on the site. Most of the school is already gone; the church, built in 1929, hasn’t been started yet. But it will vanish soon as well.

The parish house at 3921 North Monticello. Will it be saved?

The parish house at 3921 North Monticello. Will it be saved?

In its place will be four new single-family homes from MK Construction & Builders of 2000 North Milwaukee Avenue. MK’s website touts 3400-3800-square-foot, 2-story masonry structures. There have been four building permits on file with the city since July and August, showing that each home will include a two-car garage. MK Construction will act as its own general contractor. The homes are designed by Pro-Plan Architects of Streamwood, IL.

At 3921 North Monticello stands a parish house connected to the church. A demolition permit issued in August included 3913 through 3921 to be demolished, but the latest demo permit names only for 3913. No response yet from MK Construction as to whether or not 3921 will be saved or destroyed.

3913 North Monticello

This rendering from MK Construction & Builders shows the homes coming to 3913-3919 North Monticello.

Nothing stirs the emotions like demolition of an old church, and since I was told I couldn’t take or post any photos of this demolition, here’s a huge gallery of them, because get over yourself, dude.

** I received an email this morning from the marketing director at MK Construction, who informs me 3921 will NOT be demolished. 

St. John Cantius Church again a standout of Open House Chicago 2016

St. John Cantius Church

St. John Cantius Church, Chicago, IL.

Sometimes I forget the first word of Open House Chicago is, indeed, “open.” I walked into Saint John Cantius Church in River West for the first time, camera and tripod in hand. I looked around and so no one else with a tripod, and wondered if what I was doing was okay. So I asked. “Of course!” was the answer. I wouldn’t be intruding on a wedding. I wouldn’t be interrupting worshipers. It was an Open House.

Never participated in Open House Chicago? Leave your weekends available in October 2017. It’s a whole new window on the City of Chicago.

Here now, my favorite photos from my favorite site in 2016. (Sorry, Yale Building. You had been the front-runner until late Sunday.)


Soul City Church gets a permit to add on in the West Loop

Soul City Church

Soul City Church sits at the corner of Adams Street and Racine Avenue.

Soul City Church, at 1150 West Adams Street, is ready to undertake a major expansion of its facilities in the West Loop.

Wednesday, a permit was filed for Soul City to build a three-story addition in the empty lot next door to the east, as well as make renovations to the existing church. The construction will add a multi-level auditorium, church offices, lobbies, even a roof terrace for use by the Soul City congregation.

Neighbors of the West Loop was there when plans were presented back in June and has details of what’s to come now that the permit is filed, including Soul City’s plan to share use of its new addition with the neighboring community. Focus Construction will serve as the general contractor.