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Fire-ravaged Shrine of Christ the King will finally get a new roof this fall

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The work on the once endangered 1923 Renaissance Revival structure will begin next month

Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/Nitram242

After enduring two years without a lid, the fire-damaged Shrine of Christ the King is finally getting its new roof. Located in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, the historic Henry Schlacks-designed structure was nearly destroyed by an October 2015 fire and was spared from demolition last year thanks to the efforts of preservationists and community activists.

Jay Koziarz

The church was christened as St. Clara Church in 1923, but was later renamed St. Gelasius before finally becoming known as the Shrine of Christ the King. It is considered a fine example of the Renaissance Revival style and features Romanesque columns and a 120-foot spire.

The Shrine was granted a building permit for a new roof last summer but ended up enduring a second winter exposed to the elements. Now, after raising $2.2 million—and securing a $250,000 matching grant from the National Fund for Sacred Spaces and the National Trust for Historic Preservation—the project is ready to move forward in earnest.

Rev. Matthew Talarico tells DNAinfo that the work is anticipated to begin next month with the installation of new steel roof trusses expected in January. Interior build-out, however, is another matter and will require additional fundraising. Even if the new roof is completed on time in the spring, it could still be at least a year until the Shrine is ready to hold public services.