WIN: St. Adalbert’s Church Receives Unanimous Landmark Approved Vote During Packed Landmark Hearing (Chicago 7 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021)

St. Adalbert Parish Complex, 1908, 1633-59 W. 16th St. and 1622-58 W. 17th St. Photo Credit: Chicago DPD
St. Adalbert Parish Complex, 1908, 1633-59 W. 16th St. and 1622-58 W. 17th St. Photo Credit: Chicago DPD
Supporters of landmarking the shuttered St. Adalbert’s church during a special meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks Aug. 7, 2023. St. Adalbert Church, Henry J. Schlacks, 1636 W. 17th Street. Photo Credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
Supporters of landmarking the shuttered St. Adalbert’s church during a special meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks Aug. 7, 2023. St. Adalbert Church, Henry J. Schlacks, 1636 W. 17th Street. Photo Credit: Ward Miller / Preservation Chicago
‘I want to pray’: 73-year-old woman arrested for protesting shuttered St. Adalbert Church has case dismissed, Nell Salzman, front page of the Chicago Tribune, 8/24/23. Image credit: Chicago Tribune

“A closed Catholic church that’s been at the center of a years-long preservation battle is one step closer to becoming a Chicago landmark.

“The Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted unanimously Thursday to advance landmark status for the St. Adalbert Catholic Church complex, 1650 W. 17th St., one month after the body gave it a preliminary landmark recommendation.

“The commission approved a report from the Department of Planning and Development that landmark status would be consistent with city planning goals in the surrounding neighborhood.

“The property — consisting of the sanctuary, rectory, convent, school and a parking lot — spans 2.1 acres in the heart of Pilsen.

“The designation must still work through a lengthy process and ultimately be approved by the City Council’s Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards followed by the full City Council.

“Pilsen Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said he expects the landmark designation to be approved by the full City Council. He called Thursday’s vote a ‘special day’ for St. Adalbert parishioners and the surrounding community.

“‘This is an iconic landmark for the Polish community, just as it is so important for the Mexican community, just as it is important for working people that today have said it loud and clear, they want to be part of a conversation of the planning of the next steps, and that’s what we’re going to do,’ Sigcho-Lopez said.

“‘It is so widely important to our neighborhood that this property, this edifice, stays in perpetuity so that other people can also avail themselves of the interior and the exterior for inspiration, spiritual or religious, for whatever they can take away from this church and the property,’ added Blanca Torres, a parishioner and part of the St. Adalbert Preservation Society. (Myers, Block Club Chicago, 9/7/23)

Preservation Chicago has been advocating for Chicago Landmark Designation of the St. Adalbert Church in Pilsen for over a decade and is delighted by recent process. We have working closely with neighborhood partners every step of the way to protect St. Adalbert Church. St. Adalbert Church was a Chicago 7 Most Endangered in 2014 and 2016. It was also included in the Chicago 7 Most Endangered Roman Catholic Church categories in 2019 and 2021.

We have worked closely with local leaders in the Latinx and Polish communities to resist the closure and possible demolition of the building. Since the Archdiocese of Chicago deconsecrated the church and ceased holding religious services within the building, we have strongly encouraged stakeholders and the City of Chicago to move forward with Chicago Landmark Designation.

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

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