Wednesday, September 30, 2009

St. Boniface Church — Chicago, Ill

The battle to save historic St. Boniface Church in Chicago's West Town neighborhood might be coming to a close. The victor — adaptive reuse.

A developer has come forward to propose the following ... SAVE the church exterior and quintessential four corner towers ... but GUT the interior and turn it into a senior living center. This website gives more details.

Shuttered since 1989, St. Boniface was designed by well-known Chicago ecclesiastical architect Henry J. Schlacks in 1902. In addition to being a wonderful architect, Schlacks was also a teacher, and was appointed the first Director of the Course in Architecture at the University of Notre Dame.

Take a look at the proposed plans.

Purist wish that this structure would be saved in tact. To them, adaptive reuse is seen as a compromise. I say "compromise away"!

St. Boniface Church | 1358 W. Chestnut Street | Chicago, IL



  1. OMG, that's TRAGIC ... the place isn't even secured! WTF?! ... my thanks (I think) to the guys who went in there and took those photos (St. Inyourface??) There's still so much of the original beauty in those ruins -- but ruins they ARE, and they're getting more ruined by the day -- the purists want what?? Are any of them willing to cough up the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to turn the place into a museum like St. Albertus in Detroit? No?? Then adaptive reuse it is! There are some fabulous apartment complexes out there, which are former church buildings (ironically, one in Buffalo comes to mind immediately).

    We have a beautiful old convent here that is now a residential arts center. That's sure preferable to having it either demolished, or sit rotting for decades while crackheads and ghostbusters prowl the insides. I'll take an apartment ... I want one in a tower!

  2. Adaptive reuse beats tearing the whole building down...I do wish they could save it intact, but sadly that won't happen.