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142Architecture: Heavenly City

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  • mwittlans@aol.com
    Mar 23, 2006
      Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is,
      put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form
      right away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.

      Title: Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago
      Author: Denis R. McNamara
      Publisher: Liturgy Training Publications
      Date Published: October 2005
      ISBN: 1568545037
      Price: Hardcover 59.95
      Comments: A well researched book that is also eye catching. Full-color
      photographs and architectural descriptions of Chicago’s most beautiful churches
      and chapels.

      A review from amazon.com:
      Gorgeous Photos of Gorgeous Churches, December 23, 2005
      If you don't believe that Chicago has some of the best looking Catholic
      churches in America, you should take a look at this book. Sixty-eight of the
      almost 400 churches in the Chicago archdiocese are featured, some in much more
      detail than others.

      The author seems to have a thing for older, more traditional churches over
      newer ones, which is just fine by me. Most of my favorites are here - Holy
      Name Cathedral is present, of course, as is St. Michael's in Wicker Park, which
      was burned in the Chicago Fire, and Holy Family, which wasn't, although it
      was almost torn down a decade ago. St. Ita, St. Jerome, St. Philip Neri are
      pictured, as is Our Lady of Lourdes, which was once moved across the street,
      spun 90 degrees, and then split in half to double its size. The great Polish
      churches are well represented: St. Mary of the Angels, closed and almost torn
      down once; the St. Michael on the Southwest Side; the sad and tragic St.
      Hedwig; St. Hyacinth - now a basilica, and an enormous one at that; St. John
      Cantius, another nearly destroyed masterpiece, now masterfully renovated and with
      its own order of Latin-speaking priests, etc. I could go on and on.

      Two churches are not even active Catholic churches anymore: St Boniface was
      closed 15 years ago, and the fantastic old St. Martin's just off the Dan Ryan
      Expressway is now Protestant. And there is the wild story of St. Gelasius,
      just south of Hyde Park, vandalized, nearly burned down, closed, and now being
      rebuilt as the Institute of Christ the King.

      I think a few really great ones are missed. Namely, St. Ben's on the North
      Side, whose bell tower dominates Irving Park for literally miles, and St.
      Martin de Porres (formerly St. Thomas Aquinas) on the West Side. Perhaps St.
      Sabina's on the Southwest Side belongs, although the interior is all screwed up
      (but spotless). St. Mary of Perpetual Help, in Bridgeport, is an outstanding
      church and certainly belongs in the book, as does the beautiful and unique
      Lithuanian Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Marquette Park.

      On the other hand Loyola's Madonna Della Strada is an oversized white barn,
      and St. Gabriel in Canaryville, despite being designed by the famous Burnham
      & Root team, is too small and too low. And St. Peter, downtown, while a fine
      church, is not really in the "great" category, either. The chapel at St. Mary
      of the Lake Seminary is a great example of Congregationalist church, being
      all white and almost featureless, but a lousy example of a Catholic church.

      But this is quibbling. All the photos, by James Morris, are in stunning full
      color, and the text is mercifully short, yet well footnoted. Perhaps a bit
      overpriced at $60 for less than 160 large pages. All in all, a beautiful book,
      very suitable either as a gift or a bit of self-indulgence.

      Here is a list of all the churches, copied from the publisher's website:

      Downtown Chicago

      Holy Name Cathedral (Near North Side/Gold Coast)
      Assumption (Near North Side/Gold Coast)
      St. James Chapel at Quigley Preparatory Seminary (Near North Side/Gold
      St. Peter (Loop)
      Old St. Patrick's (Near West Side/West Loop)

      North Chicago

      Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Lakeview)
      St. Ignatius (East Rogers Park)
      St. Alphonsus (Lakeview)
      St. Vincent de Paul (Lincoln Park)
      St. Josaphat (Lincoln Park)
      St. Clement (Lincoln Park)
      St. Jerome (East Rogers Park)
      Our Lady of Lourdes (Uptown)
      Madonna della Strada Chapel (Loyola University/East Rogers Park)
      St. Michael (Old Town)
      St. Ita (Edgewater)
      Queen of All Saints Basilica (Sauganash)

      Northwest Chicago

      St. Hyacinth Basilica (Avondale)
      St. John Berchmans (Logan Square/Bucktown)
      St. John Cantius (Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village)
      Holy Trinity (Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village)
      St. Stanislaus Kostka (Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village)
      St. Viator (Irving Park)
      St. Mary of the Angels (Bucktown)
      St. Boniface (Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village)
      St. Hedwig (Logan Square/Bucktown)
      Holy Innocents (Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village)

      South Chicago

      St. Michael (South Shore/South Chicago)
      St. Martin (Englewood)
      Nativity of Our Lord (Bridgeport)
      Holy Cross-Immaculate Heart of Mary (Back of the Yards/Canaryville)
      Institute of Christ the King (formerly St. Clara⁄St. Gelasius) (Woodlawn)
      St. Anthony (Pullman)
      St. Gabriel (Back of the Yards/Canaryville)
      St. Basil/Visitation (New City/Back of the Yards)
      St. John of God (Sherman Park)
      St. Thomas the Apostle (Hyde Park)
      St. Ambrose (Kenwood)
      Holy Cross Monastery (formerly Immaculate Conception) (Bridgeport)
      St. Rita of Cascia (West Englewood)
      Corpus Christi (Oakland/Grand Boulevard)
      St. Anselm (Washington Park)
      St. Columbanus (Greater Grand Crossing)
      Our Lady of Guadalupe, Shrine of St. Jude (South Chicago)
      St. Philip Neri (South Shore)
      Our Lady of Peace (South Shore)

      West Chicago

      Holy Family (Near West Side/University Village)
      St. Pius V (Pilsen)
      Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica (Near West Side)
      Holy Rosary (Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village)
      Notre Dame de Chicago (Near West Side)
      St. Adalbert (Pilsen)
      St. Paul (Pilsen)
      St. Nicholas Cathedral, Ukrainian Catholic Church (Wicker Park/Ukrainian

      Chicago Suburbs

      St. Thomas Aquinas Priory Chapel, Dominican University (River Forest)
      Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, University of St. Mary of the
      Lake/Mundelein Seminary (Mundelein)
      St. Athanasius (Evanston)
      Chapel at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Barat College (Lake Forest)
      Marytown, Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe (Libertyville)*
      St. Peter (Skokie)
      St. Edmund (Oak Park)
      Ascension (Oak Park)
      St. Giles (Oak Park)
      Immaculate Conception (Waukegan)
      Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Divine Word Monastery (Techny)
      St. Francis Xavier (Wilmette)
      St. Joseph (Wilmette)
      Saints Faith, Hope, and Charity (Winnetka)

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