THREATENED: All of Mankind Mural / Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered

All of Mankind Mural by William Walker (1972) at Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1901, John Neal Tilton, 617 W. Evergreen Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Debbie Mercer
All of Mankind Mural by William Walker (1972) at Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1901, John Neal Tilton, 617 W. Evergreen Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Debbie Mercer
All of Mankind Mural by William Walker (1972) at Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1901, John Neal Tilton, 617 W. Evergreen Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo Credit: Chicago Public Art Group
All of Mankind Mural by William Walker (1972) at Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1901, John Neal Tilton, 617 W. Evergreen Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo Credit: Save All of Mankind / Art House Coalition / Cabrini Art House Project
All of Mankind Mural by William Walker (1972) at Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1901, John Neal Tilton, 617 W. Evergreen Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo Credit: Save All of Mankind / Art House Coalition / Cabrini Art House Project
Interior Murals by William Walker (1972) at Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1901, John Neal Tilton, 617 W. Evergreen Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo Credit: Jeff Heubner
Interior Murals by William Walker (1972) at Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1901, John Neal Tilton, 617 W. Evergreen Avenue, a 2024 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo Credit: Jeff Heubner

All of Mankind Mural/Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church

Murals

Address: 617 W. Evergreen Street

Artist: William Walker

Year: 1971-1974
Style: Black Arts Movement

Church

Address: 617 W. Evergreen

Architect/Artist: John Neal Tilton
Year: 1901

Style: Gothic Revival

Overview
Once surrounded by the towers of the Cabrini-Green Homes, the Stranger’s Home Missionary Baptist Church (formerly San Marcello Mission Church) was a center of religious life for Italian immigrants and later Black families on the Near North Side beginning in 1901. In 1971, a progressive priest commissioned Chicago artist William Walker to adorn the church with a series of murals. The pieces, collectively titled All of Mankind, explored the beauty and struggle of Black America and envisioned a world united. The piece was widely regarded as one of Walker’s masterpieces and became a symbol of Cabrini-Green.

The church has remained standing even as Cabrini-Green was demolished by 2011, but Walker’s murals were completely whitewashed by 2016. However, it is believed that these works are salvageable. The Cabrini Art House Project and a coalition of community organizations including the art conservators and community residents has recently pursued the purchase and restoration of the church and its murals. They are seeking funding and city support to achieve this goal with the hopes that the site can become a center for the Cabrini-Green neighborhood and that Chicagoans can once again appreciate Walker’s landmark work in person.

Read the full story at Preservation Chicago’s website

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