February 28th marked the two-year anniversary of the Shrine being saved from demolition! Two years and much persistence later, it is looking very likely that the Shrine’s new roof will begin to go on soon!! The installation of the first truss is tentatively scheduled for sometime this week, the week of March 12th. When this happens, we are going to celebrate!! Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for breaking news!
Despite the cold weather, a lot of construction work carried on at the Shrine. The western interior elevation was covered in protective coating to keep temperatures warm enough for work to continue. Steel for the Shrine’s new roof has been fabricated throughout the winter.
After a year of hard work developing our organizational infrastructure, on Tuesday, February 20th, we signed all the forms needed for Save the Shrine’s 501(c)3 application! Once the IRS approves the application, Save the Shrine will be able to receive tax-exempt donations independently of a fiscal sponsor. We will also be eligible to apply for grants that require applicants to be 501(c)3 organizations.
Our application was prepared pro bono by the law firm Jenner & Block. This was made possible by Save the Shrine’s dear friend Joe Gromacki. We are so grateful to Joe, attorney Olga Loy, and Jenner & Block for their generous assistance.
In January, we were thrilled to welcome Nina Mesfin, a senior at Yale University, to #SeetheShrine! Nina is writing her senior thesis on “The Preservation of Chicago’s Churches as Sites of Cultural Heritage”!! It was a delight to meet Nina and we were inspired by her insightful questions about the quest to preserve the Shrine. We are thrilled that the Shrine’s story is being told in academic writing and we look forward to reading Nina’s thesis in May. Special thanks to Ward Miller, Executive Director of Preservation Chicago, for coming to speak with Nina about the preservation of the Shrine.
In February, we had the pleasure of welcoming Jim Kemp of US Trust to the Shrine! Jim has been involved with many efforts to preserve historic churches in St. Louis. We are so grateful for his sage advice in growing Save the Shrine and for his willingness to share the Shrine’s story with his network. Jim also took stunning photographs during his visit including the cover photo for our Winter 2018 Newsletter!
Save the Shrine’s co-founder, Gabriel Piemonte, has recently been elected to the board of the Northern Illinois Historic League and to serve as president of the board of the Shrine’s next-door neighbor the St. Martin de Porres House of Hope. We are delighted to see these relationships with our partner organizations develop and we congratulate Gabriel on these very well-deserved positions: they are lucky to have him! You can read more about Gabriel’s work with the House of Hope here: http://www.smdp-hoh.org/meet-new-board-president/ .
Gabriel has also recently announced his candidacy for Alderman of the Shrine’s neighboring 5th Ward. Save the Shrine cannot say anything political, but we wish Gabriel the best in all his endeavors.
Presidents’ Day may have been a public holiday, but Shrine faithful, friends, and even a visiting Canon were hard at work as extras on the set, as the television show “Chicago’s Best” filmed at truly Chicago’s best coffee shop, our good neighbor Robust Coffee Lounge. Thank you to Robust owner Jake Sapstein for kindly inviting us all! Tune in to WGN at 10pm (CST) on Sunday, March 18th to see the show!
The Shrine’s façade glowed in the night and spirits were high at the second Carols & Candles community countdown to Christmas. Many thanks to all the event sponsors and volunteers for making it such a festive evening for the entire community of Shrine supporters to celebrate the holiday season!
Join us this holiday season as we celebrate the beauty of the Shrine at our second annual Carols and Candles event on Saturday, December 16th at 4:30pm. The afternoon will be filled with hot chocolate, caroling, and the lighted backdrop of Woodlawn’s iconic stone landmark. There will also be Christmas giveaways of Christmas trees, coats and toys. Carols and Candles will be held at the Shrine of Christ the King at 6401 S. Woodlawn Ave, Chicago.
This Christmas season, the Shrine continues to bring musical masterpieces to life! Consider attending the Shrine’s Midnight Mass this Christmas Eve for a wide range of stunning choral settings.