If you live near Logan Square, this may be a familiar drama: Parishioners of St. Sylvester's Church have gone public with a fight to exclude their Rectory from the Logan Square Boulevards Landmark District. It's been a knock-down drag-out war for community support between Ald. Rey Colon and protesting church folk in recent months. Normally, religious structures aren't tampered with by outside forces. But when the district was created in 2005, the Rectory was identified as an auxiliary residential building, not a place of worship. That's only half true. The Archdiocese tried to make the case that plenty of spillover religious ceremonies were held there, and that it was valuable for that reason. Now faced with mounting rehab costs thanks to landmark upkeep requirements, the parish insists it will demolish the Rectory before it concedes to the huge costs. Another point of contention is just how much landmark support exists among Logan's registered voters. Now that picketing has begun, with counter-picketing by Logan Square Preservation, how feverish will this get before coming to a head?
·Religious Freedom Vs. Aldermanic Privilege? The Battle Over St. Sylvester's Rectory [Gapers Block]
(photo: Gapers Block)