Israel-Samuel A.M.E. Zion Church
3757 W. Douglas Blvd., Chicago
Located midway between Douglas and Garfield parks, this three-story Greek
Revival building is a visual landmark within the North Lawndale neighborhood
and along Chicagoís historic boulevard system. It was constructed in 1915 as
a Jewish Synagogue and features a second story worship space complete with
Chandeliers, plasterwork and art glass still survive from the original
design. The second floor is currently unoccupied and has extensive water
damage, but the basement and rear wing continue to be used for church
services and Sunday school classes. Portions of the limestone exterior have
cracked or fallen off the building, requiring either repair or replacement.
Immediate roof repairs are needed to prevent further water damage and to
stem the loss of original interior details. Although the church is occupied
by an active congregation which wants to remain in the building, the
condition of the building has prompted city officials to enter the property
into demolition court. Immediate stabilization costs are anticipated to be
at least $700,000.
What Can I Do?
You could send a check to Israel-Samuel A.M.E. Church (3757 W. Douglas Blvd., Chicago,
IL 60623) for its Building Conservation Fund, which would help assist with
critical structural repairs for the upper sanctuary. Local residents could
urge the local alderman, Michael Chandler (24th Ward), to support the
congregationís effort in making the critical repairs that could help get this structure
out of the cityís Demolition Court. His e-mail is
Photos: Wiss, Janney, Elstner & Associates, Inc.