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Shrine of Christ the King is getting a new roof

Workers will need to get the building’s roof finished before winter hits

As summer comes to a close, developers and construction crews are hustling to get started on important projects before the cold winter months set in. And one of the biggest jobs facing those who are trying to save the historic Shrine of Christ the King church in Woodlawn is getting a new roof erected on the cathedral before it starts snowing. Cleanup of the church began this spring and now the city has issued a permit to allow crews to begin building a new roof. According to the permit, the estimated cost of this particular job is $640,000.

It’s been almost a year since a fire devastated the church, initially causing much uncertainty about its future, however, the campaign to restore the church is well underway. Earlier this year, the Archdiocese of Chicago brokered a deal with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a religious order that has used the church over the last decade, to ensure that the building would be restored. However, the negotiations and inaction taken on the church in the months directly following the fire are suspected to have contributed to even more deterioration.

Like the long-vacant St. Boniface in East Village and the embattled St. Adalbert in the Pilsen neighborhood, Shrine of Christ the King was designed by noted architect Henry J. Schlacks. The church was completed in 1923 as St. Clara Church, but was later renamed St. Gelasius before finally coming to the Shrine of Christ the King that it is more commonly known as today.

It is expected to cost several million dollars to completely restore the church. An early estimate after the fire placed the cost somewhere in the range of $9 million.