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Lake View Presbyterian Church Chicago


At the time of its construction in 1888, the area surrounding this frame church at Addison and Broadway streets was a northern suburb of Chicago. Church services were initially held under a tent on the site until the congregation hired architect John Wellborn Root to design a permanent structure. Its location outside the city limits meant the building was not subject to the ban on wood construction initiated following the Fire of 1871 and Root was free to create an intricately patterned exterior using cedar shingles. During the 1940s, the walls were re-clad with asbestos shingles and painted white with green trim. After 70 years under wraps, the church launched a full exterior restoration that revealed numerous “lost” details, including a spiral-patterned steeple.



Art glass windows were also fully restored and fireproofing material installed under the shingles. Even though the church has no official city landmark designation, and can not benefit from tax incentives, the $1.23 million restoration proceeded thanks to the contributions of the Presbytery of Chicago and many private donations. Since the project’s completion in 2007, church membership has increased from 47 to 200.


Photos 1: Inland Architect; 2: Holabird & Root; 3, 4: (top) Holabird & Root, (bottom) Russell Phillips Photography; 5: Russell Phillips Photography








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