Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Old Town [St. Michael's Church]
St. Michael's Church..
Completed: 1869.. Most of the building was destroyed in the 1871 Chicago Fire, but the walls and tower survived and the rest was rebuilt within about two years.
Architect: August Wallbaum
Location: Old Town neighborhood of Chicago..
Address: 1633 N Cleveland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614..
St. Michael's Church is a Roman Catholic church.. The parish was founded to minister to the German Catholic immigrants in 1850's..
Assist us in our battles against evils of the day..
It's website informs..
St. Michael in Old Town was started by the Diocese of Chicago to serve the many German immigrants who had come to Chicago. As these immigrants settled in Chicago, they moved into the area north of the Chicago River known today as “Old Town.” The Archdiocese authorized the founding of St. Michael Parish in 1852, and a committee was established to organize the new parish, which was to be located near North Avenue and Larrabee Street. Michael Diversey, a prosperous immigrant brewer donated a small plot of land at North Avenue and Church Street (later to become Hudson Street) for the newly founded St. Michael’s parish. With property in hand, the committee set about to build a modest house of worship. With the bishop’s consent, the new parish was named for St. Michael, under the patronage of the archangel and in gratitude for Michael Diversey’s land donation...
The church was one of 7 buildings to 'survive' the path of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, although it was heavily damaged. While most of Old Chicago's infrastructure was made of wood, the church was made of brick which helped it survive the fire.. However, only portions of the building survived, like the stone. The church was quickly rebuilt.
It's website informs.. ..
The task of rebuilding began within a week, and a wooden combination church and school was erected. The roof was complete in October 1872, and on October 12, 1873, the rebuilt St. Michael’s church was consecrated and rededicated. St. Michael’s was one of the first Chicago churches to rise again from the ashes of the Great Fire. On January 30, 1876, the five bells in the as-yet unfinished church tower rang out officially for the first time. The original tower bells had melted into a bronze mass and collapsed into the church building as the roof blazed. The new bells were blessed and dedicated and were named: St. Michael, St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Alphonsus, and St. Theresa...
As the 20th century began, work began on redecorating the church’s interior...
Posted by Jyoti at 10/18/2011 06:29:00 PM
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Wonderful photos, inspiring me to head over and actually go inside. I also read at http://greatchicagofire.org/landmarks/st-michaels-church that apparently they have actual ashes from the Chicago fire.
You certainly get around town. But I noticed that your pictures of St Michael's are from a season other than the current one.
I recently visited St Michael's and took several pictures also. It's great to know that the parishioners are currently raising funds for a restoration and preservation project. As of September-October 2011, there is scaffolding on the facade.
Thanks for writing!
The images of the "interiors" of the Church are all recent, taken on Oct 17, 2011 [to be precise]...
Only the images of the building facade are from last year.. because the building was under scaffolding and did not offer a good view. In fact I have many many more images of the Church interiors, I want to upload, but time is a major constraint...
Are there any pics of the interior from the 60's?
I remember hearing about a suicide that took place in the in St. Gerard's chapel (was used to baptize people at the back of the church). But I heard this 40 years ago and am not sure it did happen. Chapel needed to be re-consecrated.
Thanks for the great post.
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