New Hope for Long-Vacant Hyde Park Churches

In response to growing concern over the deteriorating condition of two former Hyde Park Christian Science Churches due to their long-term vacancy, Preservation Chicago redoubled its efforts to find a patron for these buildings. The effort has yielded initial positive results and a preservation-sensitive developer is potentially interested purchasing and adaptively reusing both of these two properties.

The 5th Church of Christ Scientist/Shiloh Baptist Church on Dorchester Avenue, by Solon S. Beman, is in the Kenwood Landmark District. The 10th Church of Christ Scientist/St. Stephan’s on the 5600 Block of S. Blackstone is in Hyde Park, adjacent to the University of Chicago campus, but not within a Landmark District.

We are hopeful that this outreach will spur the existing owner, or a future developer, to move forward with restoration and reuse efforts.

Additional Reading

New Owner for St. Stephen’s, Which Defied Redevelopment for 20 Years, DNAinfo, Sam Cholke, January 14, 2016.

30 Churches You Can Live In: More Empty Holy Places Are Becoming Homes, DNAinfo, Ariel Cheung and Tanveer Ali, May 16, 2017

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