“The Chicago City Council has approved the adaptive reuse of the All Saints St. Anthony Church at 518 W 28th Place in Bridgeport. Located on the corner with S. Wallace Street, the multi-building complex will see new life as a child and adult daycare facility led by developer T2 Opportunity Fund LLC with Vari Architects LTD serving as the designers of the new interior spaces.
“The church was originally built to serve the area’s German population in 1915, designed by Henry J. Schlacks who worked on other churches on the south and west side. The Romanesque style building is well known for its mosaic of the vision of St. Anthony over the entrance and a stained-glass window by Bavarian artist Franz Xaver Zettler.
“After closing in 2019, it was scheduled for demolition before being nominated for landmark status by Preservation Chicago in 2021. Now we know the historical four-building campus will be saved and restored.
“The existing church, rectory, school buildings will be receiving structural and facade repairs, while the rear convent structure is being demolished. The church and rectory will become a new adult-daycare facility, joining a handful of others throughout the city and roughly 4,600 others in the nation in 2016 serving over 286,000 elders.
“The church will see new walls added creating a library, reception, and office in the existing front entrance area, five activity rooms and a consultation room will be added in the linear nave, the crossing and transepts will become a multi-purpose space, and the choir/altar will be an exercise space.
“Many old churches that once served thousands across the city are rapidly deteriorating, with a few being converted to homes or other used, the approval of the reuse of All Saints St. Anthony is a win for the city’s architectural legacy.” (Achong, Chicago YIMBY, 3/21/22)
Preservation Chicago has been working closely with the developer and architect to help achieve the programmatic requirements of the adaptive reuse which preserving and restoring as much historic material as is possible. Prior to the sale, workmen for the Archdiocese of Chicago removed all of the art-glass windows and other religious elements. During the hasty interior salvage efforts, Preservation Chicago reminded the Archdiocese leadership and their workmen that a permit would required to alter the exterior mosaic over the main doors. Fortunately, this extraordinary mosaic was left intact.