St. Angela Church Demolition Looms

After a six month delay, the St. Angela Church demolition has been rescheduled for December 18, 2017. Located in the Austin community at 1300 N. Massasoit Street and Potomac Avenue, this Roman Catholic Church was shuttered in May 2005. St. Angela School has continued to thrive with over 300 children enrolled. To make a more expansive open green space for the children and to avoid the cost of repairs, the Archdiocese of Chicago decided to close and demolish the church, convent and rectory buildings. Despite being built between 1949 and 1951, these traditional designed religious buildings were of fine quality construction with carved stone decoration and could have been repurposed for another use.

“This is really one of the last of its kind,” said Lynn Fredrick, St. Angela’s director of advancement. “It was a beautiful church.”

“The first thing that grabbed your senses were the windows and their strikingly vivid colors,” notes an auction ad book from a 2009 brunch the school hosted. “They were made up of thousands of small pieces of imported antique glass assembled by lead jointing.”

The high altar was made of “brightly colored foreign marble, highlighted with rare Florentine mosaic.” The windows, “30 feet high and 14 feet wide, were the largest windows ever made by the celebrated firm of Giannini & Hilgart, under the personal supervision of Mr. Fred Hilgart.” As reported by Michael Romain, in the OakPark.com.

Preservation Chicago has been working with members of the Austin communities to advocate to save the church building, but efforts to reuse the building with a program that would be acceptable to the School and Archdiocese of Chicago have been challenging.

Additional Reading
St. Angela Undergoes Demolition, Michael Romain, OakPark.com 6/27/17

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