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Presbyterian Church

1850 S. Racine, Chicago
(Cook County)

Built 1965


On August 3, 2007, the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, was demolished by its owner, the Heneghan Wrecking Co. The brick church had been designed by Edward Dart, an award-winning architect best known for St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois.


The modernist gem, which had been nestled in a streetscape of late-19th century buildings, had been the subject of advocacy efforts by Landmarks Illinois since it learned last spring of the church’s closing and acquisition by Heneghan. In April, Landmarks Illinois requested that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks designate the building as a local landmark to ensure its protection, but that action had not taken place. Because the church had been built after 1940—the cut-off date for inclusion in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey—it was not subject to the city’s 90-day demolition delay ordinance for significant structures.


The building had been featured in two recent Chicago Tribune articles by Blair Kamin--one appearing just days before the demolition took place. The Heneghan Wrecking Co., whose motto is “We Make Space,” also was the demolition contractor for the Du Page Theater in Lombard (2000 Ten Most List), the Kendall College Block in Evanston (2004-05 Watch List), and the Rainbo Gardens in Chicago (2003-04 Watch List).

For images of the church from 2007 and from a June 1966 Architectural Forum article, view the PDF HERE.


For images of the church’s demolition, go t0 Lee Bey: Urban Observer.


Photo credit: David Schalliol









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