Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I came upon...

...St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, at 4827 N. Kenmore, on my stroll through Uptown on Saturday. I had never heard of it before and, after crossing Lawrence, it came up suddenly on me after being obscured by a high-rise on the corner. (As befitting a church in Uptown, St. Thomas holds masses in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Laotian.)

I couldn't find out much about the building, except that I think it was completed in 1916. (Until I get my copy of Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago, by Denis McNamara, on hold at the library, I'll just have to wait to learn more.)

As you can see, it's made of red brick with neoclassical columns and terra cotta trim. Gorgeous. If it weren't for the crucifix at the top (and above the doors at each corner) and what I assume is a statue of St. Thomas of Canterbury, you would never know it was a Catholic Church, would you? Without those it could pass for a synagogue or a Christian Science church or any secular building. Maybe it was built for a different purpose and the parish bought it later, but I doubt it. That's not how Catholic churches usually operate. But I really liked it because it's such a unique style for a Catholic church and it surprised me.

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