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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 lofted balconies.



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 ward24@ci.chi.il.us; phone: 773-522-2400.


Photos: Wiss, Janney, Elstner & Associates, Inc.









Landmarks Illinois
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Chicago, IL 60604 
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