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Preservation Watch

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Intrigue surrounding the fate of the 133-year-old St. James Catholic Church in Bronzeville is growing. A benefactor has entered the picture, pledging $5M toward the preservation and reuse of the structure. That would put a significant dent in the estimated $12M cost of restoration. The Archdiocese has yet to directly respond to the offer from real estate developer Joseph Cacciatore, and pre-demolition steps are already in motion (asbestos abatement, organ dismantling). The city and preservation community have stalled demolition but have not persuaded the Archdiocese to reconsider. A plan to build a new church on nearby property still posts a considerable cost advantage. [Trib, previously]