WIN: Exterior and Sanctuary of St. James Methodist Church In Kenwood To Be Preserved As Part of Adaptive Reuse Project

St. James United Methodist Church, 4611 S. Ellis Ave. Photo Credit:

“Almost a decade after the St. James United Methodist Church said goodbye to its congregation, developers are preparing to submit plans to redevelop the building into apartments. If the developers’ request to rezone the property at 4611 S. Ellis Ave. is approved, the church would be converted to 29 rental units.

“That’s down from the 43 originally planned, according to owner Ibrahim Shihadeh, who cut back after seeing the “beauty” of the church’s sanctuary, chandeliers and stained glass. Instead, the sanctuary will be restored to its original condition and used as a cooperative working space. Individual offices, long tables and cubicles would combine for a total of 15 co-working spaces.

“Ald. Sophia King (4th) hosted the developers as they gathered feedback at a community meeting Tuesday evening. King said she was pleased with the group’s “good ideas” for reusing the old church building.

“I’m just happy that they want to preserve everything,” King said. “If we deal with the parking and get the blessing to go forward … the co-working space would be an enhancement to the community.” (Evans, 9/18/19)

St. James United Methodist Church is a beautiful building and Preservation Chicago encourages the developer to take the steps to designate this building as a Chicago Landmark. In addition to providing it recognition and long-term protections, it could make the building eligible for a variety of funding benefits.

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

Amid Conversion To Apartments, Co-Working Spot; Residents raised concerns about the plan’s impact on parking near the closed church at 4611 S. Ellis Ave., Maxwell Evans, Block Club Chicago, 9/18/19

Historic Kenwood church could become apartments, coworking space; The revised proposal for St. James Methodist Church would preserve more of its sanctuary, Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago, Oct 1, 2019


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