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Art in the Architecture by Kevin Eatinger

Art in the Architecture Chicago Houses of Worship Book I

Š2009 Kevin Eatinger All Rights Reserved. All photography and images are property of Kevin Eatinger. The book author retains sole copyright to his contributions to this book. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author Kevin Eatinger. Book designed by Kevin Eatinger

To inquire about archival fine art prints of these images, E-mail:



Preface ____________________________________________________________ Page 3 Introduction_________________________________________________________ Page 5


2nd Presbyterian Church_ ______________________________________________ Page 7 Corpus Christi Church________________________________________________ Page 15 Holy Family Church__________________________________________________ Page 21 Holy Trinity Polish Mission____________________________________________ Page 29 Hyde Park Union Church______________________________________________ Page 37 Metropolitan Apostolic Church_ ________________________________________ Page 45 Rockefeller Memorial Chapel___________________________________________ Page 51 St. Gabriel Church___________________________________________________ Page 59 St. Paul Church_ ____________________________________________________ Page 65 St. Mary of the Angels Church__________________________________________ Page 71 St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church_______________________________________ Page 79 St. Thomas the Apostle Church_ ________________________________________ Page 87 Unity Church of Hyde Park____________________________________________ Page 95 Unity Temple______________________________________________________ Page 101 (Churches now closed) St. Stephen’s Church_________________________________________________ Page 109 Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church_______________________________________ Page 115

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J Preface J

When I first started photographing churches I had just bought myself a new camera (my Yashica TL-electro-X had recently been stolen). It was June 1990, and my interests in art and architecture had begun a resurgence. Seeing architecture in so many forms and created by so many incredible architects in Chicago was always a catalyst for my images. So I began working. The City of Chicago is arguably one of the best and largest learning resources... well, classroom, in the world for architecture. You don’t have to turn a page, just walk a block and there standing before you is a lesson in architecture, design and art. Here is where you can visit artwork daily. Viewing it up-close, in 3 dimensions, discovering the history of it and creating your own description of what it defines. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may find yourself living or worshiping in it.

Well, Chicago has a lot of churches... in some areas you’ll see one on every other corner! Initially I was drawn to many of these churches because of their massive presence and elaborate artistic exteriors. I simply had not given as much recognition to the architectural qualities of religious structures previously as I had given appreciation to houses and commercial buildings. I now began to notice the fine detailing and craftsmanship infused with the meanings and architecture. Whether in simple direct design or complex aesthetic principals, a language of faith and belief is pronounced visually for all to see. Now I’d found another form of architecture to immerse into. I began driving around Chicago’s north side (where I was living at the time) looking for religious structures that I found fascinating. I found a few, then I found a lot. I would jot down the church name and the address. At that time I didn’t have the internet. Not many people including myself even knew what that was. My “research” was basically calling and arranging an appointment to photograph. I wanted to know the history and stories. It was at my first church that I was about to photograph, St. John Cantius, where I was told about an excellent book published in 1981, “Chicago Churches and Synagogues” by Fr. George Lane and Algimantas Kezys. This book has so much wonderful background on 125 houses of worship. The in-depth information and beautiful photography in this book were instrumental in guiding my ideas. The stories I was told and read of the neighborhood’s, congregation’s, parishes and members were commonly mirrored in the architecture. Hard working, dedicated faithful with ingenuity and a vision leading to a church they would call their own. During a churches construction, most often times contribution’s came from neighborhood artisan’s and craftsmen, who themselves belonged to that house of worship. Some churches counted among their members well known artists, called upon for their original creative interpretations. Much of their extraordinary artwork is still proudly intrinsic to many churches today. Still today many religious structures continue to receive gifts of new or restored murals, rejuvenated stained glass windows, new marble flooring, refinished woodwork and such. These buildings are all still works-in-progress, awaiting the care and support of benefactors, organizations and congregations, whose members continue a faith in restoration and renewal of their church. In my photographic explorations of Chicago’s architecture I have always been drawn into finding and seeing a buildings unique qualities and beauty through their geometries, curvatures and natural interactions of the architectures “art” as it were. In my photography of churches I not only want to present you, the viewer, the interior of a church, I also want to bring you inside with me and give you a view through my lens that constructs a new perspective. I love looking for angles that redefine a common, “seen a thousand times” interior or exterior perspective. I enjoy juxtaposing or compressing or recomposing the architectural statement and forming another meaning... or just bringing added interest into that previously familiar angle. I’ll accomplish that with wide angles, realigning linear elements or compressed portions... and with altered color palettes. Visually bringing together different design features with a twist or contorted perspective of the camera and lens. Using my eye to reveal unusual forms and patterns is one way of perhaps bringing the architects statements to new pronunciations. Though still, capturing architectural imagery, from the standpoint of straight forward and uncomplicated sensibilities will always be part of my vocabulary. Sometimes you just want to show great work as such.


In my observations of various houses of faith, I strive to give examination in relations of material, design, mass and function. How the architect, builder and churches leaders came to envision purpose, art and finally devotion. The interior imagery is created occasionally from slightly different points-of-view. Here I have used the cameras 2-dimensional quality to “de” and reconstruct the art in the architecture. Sometimes building an abstract exercise, repositioning the planes and curves and textures. Bringing the eye into another perspective, uncommon to the casual viewer. Sometimes capturing the whole orchestration together as what the viewer would immediately see upon visiting. The big picture and the small detail all combine here to evoke a presence and story. In 1990 the photography I carried out was recorded on film. Usually on Kodak Kodachrome. I shot two dozen religious structures within 12 months. Fast forward to 2008... I revived my “Churches” project, but now digitally. With the event of the Internet bringing access to the world and almost anything to your fingertips, self-publishing is now possible! Hard cover, 4-color, instant quality printing. Where once a project such as this was just too expensive, now I can create a publication with my expressions and interpretations and share them with anyone, anywhere. I’ve reshot only two of the churches I originally shot 17 years ago. The churches I’ve captured in 2008-09 are buildings I had never been inside before, save for Holy Family on Roosevelt Road and 2nd Presbyterian on Michigan Avenue. Of course the artwork and architecture speak for themselves. When you walk into one of these structures you are immediately welcomed into and enveloped by the volume, colors, detailing, ornamentation, and the level of craftsmanship in these churches. Walking within, you’ll experience the individual church’s history and symbolism. Part of my reason in photographing and documenting these Chicago houses of worship is to show to a wider audience the range of styles in religious architecture. There is an amazing variety of art, architecture and faith interpreted together in a church. Some member’s of a particular church may never even see the interior of another church just 3 blocks away. These houses of worship are here, ready to venture into and admire the work’s of a Solon Beman, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Burnham and Root, Henry Schlacks, Joe W. McCarthy or Francis Barry Byrne... and all the artists and craftsmen whose work proudly defines and elevates faith. One church I photographed is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple. This church is just outside of Chicago’s city limits, residing in “next door neighbor” Oak Park, IL. I had to include this important work of art! In this book is but a very small portion of the number of beautiful, historic, houses of worship to visit in Chicago. So with this first book, I begin an ongoing “workin-progress” (with more church’s to come), and bring you some incredible examples of Chicago’s finest religious architecture.

N I would like to acknowledge some very fine books that helped guide me and provided excellent reference for these churches and their facts: Chicago Stained Glass, by Erne R. and Florance Frueh (Wild Onion Books), AIA Guide to Chicago, edited by Alice Sinkevitch, (Harcourt Books), and Chicago Churches and Synagogues, by Fr. George Lane and Algimantas Kezys (Loyola Press). I also deeply appreciate and am grateful for the kind generosity of each church depicted within this book, for allowing me to photograph inside their gorgeous house of worship. I thank you all.

N Dedicated to my wife Vernita and to my parents Ed and Rita, I love you always.



Introduction J

Dear Reader-Viewer. You are in for a real treat. When I wrote my book, Chicago Churches and Synagogues, I thought that I had “seen” them all. But there is a difference, a huge difference, between seeing these wonderful buildings for the purpose of describing and documenting them and seeing the same buildings through the eyes and camera of an artist. As I studied the pictures you are about to peruse and study for yourself, all I could say was—“Wow!” The churches Kevin Eatinger has photographed, the magnificent details that he has recorded here reveal consummate art and architecture. These churches are not only objects of art and architecture, they are also magnificent expressions of the faith of the people who built them and worshipped in them. Many of the churches are the focal point of the neighborhoods in which they stand. Many were built with the nickels and dimes of immigrants. They are expressions of the ethnic and religious pride of the people. It is exciting to behold the majesty and detail of these houses of worship­­— “Praise the Lord!” Kevin’s vision and camera reveal the wonders of these places. They are truly inspiring. I hope that seeing these pictures will inspire you to visit these churches. It is best to visit them on Sunday mornings. I found the parishioners most welcoming and happy to show their beautiful churches to visitors. I am sure that you will have the same experience that I had. If you can find a tour and a tour guide, all the better. But be sure to bring this book along to guide your eye to the wonderful details. George A. Lane, S.J.


Art in the

Architecture 567 Churches Interior Expressions


Architect(s): James Renwick. Restoration by Howard Van Doren Shaw. Year completed: 1874. (Restoration after fire completed in 1900). Seating: 1000 Location: 1936 S. Michigan Ave. English Gothic designed exterior. Arts & Crafts redesigned interior by H.V.D. Shaw. Murals by Frederic Clay Bartlett. The Tiffany stained glass windows are a true treasure.









Architect(s): Joseph W. McCarthy. Restoration by Paul J. Straka. Year completed: 1916, restoration 1976. Seating: 500 (formerly 1200) Location: 4920 S. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Italian Renaissance design, F. X. Zettler stained glass windows. Beautiful, intricate coffered ceiling.







Architect(s): Dillenburg and Zucher. Year(s) completed: 1859. Interior and facade: John M. Van Osdel, 1860. Upper steeple: John Paul Huber, 1874. Restoration: John Vinci and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Assocs., 1991 - 2002. Seating: 1000 Location: 1080 W. Roosevelt Rd. German Gothic design. Second oldest church building in Chicago. Over 100 statues. The oldest stained glass windows in Chicago are the 6 Clerestory wheel windows, c. 1860.

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Architect(s): Herman Olszewski and William G. Krieg Year completed: 1906 Seating: 1350 Location: 1120 N. Noble St. Designed in a Renaissance and Baroque style. Ceiling paintings done by K. Markiewicz in 1926. Artist Irena Lorentowicz was commissioned to create stained glass windows that were installed in 1955.









Architect(s): James Gamble Rogers Year completed: 1906 Seating: 600 Location: 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave. Designed in Romanesque style. Stained glass windows by Tiffany Studios, Charles J. Connick Studios and F.X. Zettler.









Architect(s): John T. Long. South Gable remodeled by Charles S. Frost. Year completed: 1891. Remodeling in 1913. Seating: 2000 Location: 4100 S. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Done in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The interior has a beautiful wood paneled ceiling and wooden beams bracing. The Skinner organ was installed in 1916.







Architect: Bertram G. Goodhue Year completed: 1928 Seating: 1900 Location: 1160 E. 59th St. Modern Gothic style. The newly restored Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillion is the second largest musical instrument in the world. The 72 finely tuned bronze bells were cast by the Gillett and Johnson foundry in England in 1931. Together they weigh 100 tons.









Architect(s): Burnham and Root Year completed: 1887 Seating: 850 Location: 4501 S. Lowe Ave. Romanesque style design. “One of John Root’s most characteristic works... as personal as the clasp of his hand”. The stained glass windows are by the Daprato Statuary Co. of Chicago, installed in 1920.







Architect: Henry J. Schlacks Year completed: 1899 Seating: 700 Location: 2234 S. Hoyne Ave. Designed in the Gothic style. Perhaps the first brick Gothic church in America. The twin spires are 245 feet tall. The mosaic’s are by the Cav. Angelo Gianese Co. of Venice, Italy.







Architect(s): Worthmann and Steinbach. Rehabilitation by Holabird and Root. Year completed: 1920. Rehabilitated in 1992. Seating: 1800 Location: 1850 N. Hermitage Ave. Neo-Renaissance style. 32 nine foot tall angels stand watch from the roof. The dome of St. Mary’s rises to a height of 135 feet above the floor.









Architect: Henry Engelbert Year completed: 1892 Seating: 1100 Location: 1035 W. 32nd St. An Austin four-manual organ. Three interior domes. Three beautiful marble alters. Two welcoming angels and a suspended pulpit all add to the ornate interior.









Architect: Francis Barry Byrne Year completed: 1924 Seating: 1200 Location: 5472 S. Kimbark Ave. Ornate terra cotta entryway by sculptor Alfonso Iannelli. A bronze Pieta sculpture and bas-relief stations of the Cross by Alfeo Faggi. This church is “recognized as the first modern-style Catholic church in America�.









Architect: Gregory Vigeant. Interior restoration by Charles D. Faulkner. Year completed: 1889. Renovations in 1923-24. Seating: 600 Location: 1440 E. 53rd St. This church has a 45-rank E.M. Skinner organ. The stained glass windows are “among the earliest examples of impressionist church art”. The sanctuary’s glass dome is twelve-sided, each side with an apostles name. This is the oldest church building in Hyde Park.







Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright Year completed: 1908 Seating: 400 Location: 875 W. Lake St., Oak Park, Illinois Prairie style architecture. Simplicity and beauty. A Frank Lloyd Wright “transcendent work”.









Architect(s): Coolidge and Hodgdon Year completed: 1919 Seating: (unknown) Location: 5640 S. Blackstone Ave. This church (formerly a Christ, Scientist church) has been closed since I can remember first seeing it in 1994. The plans for this structure are still up in the air. At one point it was being offered as a possible condo conversion building. A huge dome and skylight over the center of the sanctuary gives the room volume and openness. Simple and powerful design. The structure is in a process of exquisite decay and de-engineering.







Architect: Solon Beman Year completed: 1904 Seating: (unknown) Location: 4840 S. Dorchester Ave. Closed for sometime. For Sale. Originally a Christ, Scientist church. I had heard that during the Civil Rights movement Mahalia Jackson was a featured Gospel singer here. This structure is de-engineering its architecture. I’ve found that even closed forgotten churches undergoing various states of decay are no less interesting, stately or giving of a powerful presence than those that are open and attended to.






Art in the Architecture, to be continued. . .

Thank you for visiting. 120

Art in the Architecture by Kevin Eatinger

Art in the Architecture  

A book of 16 Chicago houses of worship. Photography of interiors, art, designs and architectural elements. Historic and siginificant buildin...

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