THREATENED: Falling Bricks from St. James Temple/ / St. Nicholas Church in Roseland Create Emergency Demolition Risk

St. James Temple Church of God with fallen brick. Photo Credit: CBS 2 Chicago
St. James Temple Church of God with fallen brick. Photo Credit:Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago

St. James Temple Church of God, originally known as St. Nicholas Catholic Church and more recently known as Cathedral of Faith M.B. Church is a beautiful church designed by William J. Brinkmann circa 1901 and is located 11336 S. State Street in Roseland. After years of vacancy and deferred maintenance, the church’s exterior brick cladding is being to fail. Reports of falling exterior brick near the main entrance was reported in December 2018, January 2019 and again in March 2019. The City of Chicago Department of Buildings has sent inspectors and has cordoned off the front of the church with caution tape to prevent bystanders from being injured.

“According to the Chicago Department of Buildings, the historic church is being considered for Landmark status. A representative for the department said there is a live order of demolition for the church, but it hasn’t been rushed because of the possible status.” (CBS 2 Chicago, 3/22/19)

Preservation Chicago urges the City of Chicago to quickly designate the historic building as a Chicago Landmark so that Adopt-a-Landmark funds can be allocated to stabilize the exterior fascia brick. Stabilization would cost far less than demolition, and the Roseland community deserves better than another vacant lot. This historic church could be repurposed as a community center, performing arts center, nonprofit incubator or a variety of other uses that would help to bring jobs and vibrancy to Roseland.

Additional Reading:

Bricks Falling From Deteriorating St. James Temple As It Waits For Landmark Status Has Residents Concerned, CBS 2 Chicago, 3/22/19

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