“Truly unique opportunity in Chicago’s South Shore community – just steps to Lake Michigan. The former St. Bride Church and Rectory are being offered as a package. The church was designed as a French Gothic edifice comprised of brick and stone accents. The actual dedication of the church was in June, 1909. The main level worship, altar, and sacristy space is approximately 4, 800 sq ft. The church has ten double stained glass windows and a choir loft. There are 51 pews of various sizes circling a raised altar, seating for nearly 350 worshippers. The church has a full basement which houses a large meeting/gathering space, a full kitchen, a raised stage area, and two restrooms. The basement has nearly 4, 200 sq ft.
“The rectory to the south of the church was built in 1925 of similar French Gothic design and on the site of the original church. It’s a 2.5-story building of brick and stone with a clay roof. The main level has three offices, a chapel, a full-sized kitchen with butler’s pantry, an expansive formal dining room, 1.1 baths, and extra closet space. The upper level has a large Pastor’s suite at the front of the building – living room/office area, a primary bedroom with private bath, closet, and an enclosed porch/sunroom. The remainder of the upper level has five additional bedroom suites with three full bathrooms. The center hallway has a domed ceiling and access to the top level which had been used as recreational space. The full basement is partially finished and houses the heating system – a six-year-old Weil McLain boiler which fuels the radiators throughout the building. There is a 100-gallon water tank. There are two electrical panel – one with circuit breakers, the other with fuses. The sump pump system is about three years old. Laundry facilities and plenty of storage also exist in the basement.
“A concrete side drive separates the church and rectory. At the end of the drive way is an all brick 2-car garage. Above the garage is a brick breezeway or “bridge” that was built to provide interior access from the rectory to the church. There are separate PINs – 0000 (the church which sits on a 138’x135′ lot); and 0000 (the rectory and green space on a lot measuring 35’x198′). Final lot size will be determined by the survey. Property is currently tax exempt. Looking for a visionary to transform or repurpose this historic part of South Shore. (Former St. Bride Church Listing on Weichert.com)
“St. Bride Church, built in a French Gothic style, was established in 1893 as a mission of St. Kevin Church at 105th and Torrence Avenue to serve 45 families who lived north of 87th Street, in the neighborhoods of South Shore, Windsor Park, and Cheltenham.
“In 1907, the parishioners voted to build a new church, and in September ground was broken at the southeast corner of 78th Street and Coles Avenue. The cornerstone was laid on June 14, 1908. On June 6, 1909, the new St. Bride Church, with a seating capacity of 600, was dedicated by Archbishop James E. Quigley. The parish roster then listed 300 families.
“The old mission church was remodeled into a school, which opened in September 1909. The St. Bride School was the first Catholic grammar school in South Shore. The following year, Rev. O’Sullivan died and was succeeded as pastor by Rev. William J. Lynch, who began construction of a new school. In 1911, a new school opened with a capacity of 400 students.
“For several decades, South Shore was a largely Catholic and Jewish neighborhood. However, the demographics changed beginning in the late 1960s when South Shore became a majority Black neighborhood. New and old parishioners celebrated the 75th anniversary of St. Bride Church in December 1968. During the 1970s, ties were strengthened between the new Black and Haitian parishioners and the older parishioners of Irish and German descent. By 2005, student enrollment had declined to such an extent that St. Bride School closed its doors in June, with the graduation of its 96th class.
“In 2020, all four of the South Shore parishes, including St. Bride, were merged by the Chicago Archdiocese into one newly created parish, Our Lady and Ss. Bride and Philip Neri. On July 1, 2020, St. Bride Church was closed. Our Lady of Peace and Our Lady Gate of Heaven were also closed. St. Philip Neri Church is now the surviving Catholic church in South Shore.” (Preservation Chicago 7 Most Endangered 2021)