Bronzeville's Pilgrim Baptist Church designed and built in 1890 by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan won't be rebuilt 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell has confirmed. The building has sat vacant ever since a devastating fire nearly destroyed it in 2006. Despite an outpouring of donations and previous plans to restore the church, it has been surrounded by a nest of steel support beams for several years. Beyond being significant for its architecture, the church is an important cultural landmark for being recognized as the birthplace of gospel music.
Recently, preservationists have suggested that a park space be created from the masonry shell of the church. Preservation Chicago executive director Ward Miller says that turning the shell of the church into a public park space is a simple and cost-effective way to ensure that the landmark structure is saved. In addition, the park plan would finally rid the neighborhood of the steel supports that have blocked sidewalks and become an eyesore. According to DNAinfo, church reps are still in discussions with Ald. Dowell about the future of the church facade.
·Pilgrim Baptist, Birthplace of Gospel Music, Will Not Rebuild: Alderman [DNAinfo]
·Preservationists Hope to Save Historic Pilgrim Baptist Church by Creating New Park [Curbed Chicago]