Thanks to the support of so many people, we can rest assured that the Shrine of Christ the King will not be demolished. But there still is a lot of work to be done! The restoration project is underway, and you will see news about its progress here. We will also update you when we are able.
Our focus now will be on raising funds for the restoration and finding ways to connect all of you who have been such an important part of this effort back to the work that is happening now. Please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions. We will continue to be in touch with you – though not with the urgency that the demolition threat demanded.
The Sacred Architecture Journal, which released its Spring/Summer Edition last week, featured the Shrine as its leading News story!! The Journal covers sacred architecture around the world, focusing primarily but not exclusively on Catholic churches.
The Journal’s Editor, Duncan Stroik, also gave the wonderful quote currently in our booklet (see below): “Henry J. Schlacks is one of the preeminent ecclesiastical architects in the city of Chicago… St. Gelasius is certainly one of his finest works and is a sophisticated essay in classical architecture. It is a gem.”
The Coalition is grateful to the Journal for such prominent coverage and for bringing the Shrine’s story to an ever-growing audience of enthusiasts for sacred architecture.
The Roof Structural Replacement drawings have been received from Wiss, Janney, Elstner (WJE), the structural engineer. Canon Talarico, Jim Raffin of Raffin Construction, and A. Elizabeth Ortner of Studio 31a reviewed the drawings in the Shrine. Raffin Construction will use these drawings to get multiple bids from subcontractors to firm up pricing on the cost of this phase of the work. These drawings will also be used to go in for the Building Permit with the City of Chicago. Studio 31a is working on setting up a meeting with the City as they have a vested interest in this project.
This Saturday, Preservation Chicago’s annual bus tour visited the Shrine! The group enjoyed a beautiful blue sky above the Shrine’s open-air roof and a hard-hat tour of the interior led by Canon Stein.
Ward Miller, the Executive Director of Preservation Chicago, said: “Everyone agreed that the visit to the Shrine was one of the great highlights of our annual “Chicago 7 Most Endangered and Threatened Buildings Tour” for 2016. The exterior of the church building shimmered on this beautiful day, and the stonework and craftsmanship of the front facade and the tower were remarkable in the blazing sun.”
When the Shrine was threatened with demolition, Preservation Chicago accepted pledges to save it. Now, the tour group appreciated the restoration work enabled by these funds: “We were all very happy to see the progress and the debris cleared away and of course are hoping for a reconstruction of the roof membrane, before the onset of cold weather.”
Thanks to the fiscal sponsorship of Goodcity Chicago, donations to Save the Shrine are now tax-deductible! Fiscal sponsorship allows Save the Shrine to use Goodcity’s 501(c)3 status, provides accounting services and exempts organizational purchases from Illinois sales-tax!
The website accepts online donations from credit cards. To make a donation by check, please make out checks to “Goodcity” with “Save the Shrine” in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to: Save the Shrine at 425 Linden St, Winnetka, IL 60093. All donations will receive a letter for tax purposes from Goodcity.
We are excited to be included among Goodcity’s inspiring list of social entrepreneurs!
Interest in Chicago’s historic churches is international! Last week, a group of concerned Catholics in Poland and Germany released a video in support of St. Adalbert’s in Pilsen. St. Adalbert’s and the Shrine share the same architect, Henry Schlacks, whose legacy is discussed in the video.
The future of the church is uncertain following the recent suppression of the parish. Meanwhile, the St. Adalbert Preservation Society has secured about a million and a half dollars for repairs. More information is available at www.savestadalbertchurch.org.