This Gothic Revival-style church was designed by a prominent New York architect James Renwirk. When the church was built, the surrounding streets, including Prairie Avenue, were lined with the homes of wealthy Chicagoans. Members of the congregation included the Glessners, the Pullmans, and the widow of President Abraham Lincoln.The blog also does a great job of highlighting other architecture throughout the South Loop (ie - Motor Row, Glessner House, the Chicago Firehouse, Michigan Avenue etc.).
When a fire in 1900, destroyed a large portion of the sanctuary, the congregation hired architect Howard Van Doren Shaw to redesign the interior. He transformed the tall, narrow Gothic space into Arts-&-Crafts style interior with liberal use of dark oak and plaster reliefs. Artist Frederic Clay Bartlett created murals in the balcony arches and the large "Tree of Life" mural that decorates the front wall of the church. It has nine windows designed by Tiffany.
The Second Presbyterian Church is an arts and architecture masterpiece and a historic and cultural treasure. However it needs massive preservation and restoration efforts. In 2006, "Friends of Historic Second Church", a non-profit organization was established to spearhead the restoration efforts ..
Friday, October 16, 2009
The Majestic Second Presbyterian Church at 1936 S. Michigan
A local Chicago architecture blog highlights the beauty of the Second Presbyterian Church which is at the corner of Cullerton and Michigan Avenue (1936 S. Michigan Avenue):