Photos: South Side's St. John of God Church

March 15, 2010


(photo by Lee Bey)

Over the weekend, I took a spin by the old St. John of God Church in the New City community.

Built in 1918 for the once-predominantly Polish neighborhood, St. John of God is one of several architecturally revivalist Chicago churches designed by Henry J. Schlacks. His work for the Chicago Roman Catholic Archdiocese from the 1890s through the 1920s includes St. Adalbert's near 17th and Ashland; St. Gelasius at 64th and Woodlawn and St. Paul Church at 22nd and Hoyne, a Gothic edifice marked by twin 245 ft towers.

St. John of God, 1238 W. 52nd St., has been closed as a church since 1992, but the archdiocese still owns the 92-year-old building and keeps the exterior in pretty good shape. Great details remain, although I gotta beg my way inside one day and photograph the interior like these folks did.

Until then, here are the exteriors in B&W (I do apologize for having the raindrops on my lens):


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)

I like this: Here is a cornerstone with the year of completion correctly--but awkwardly--rendered in Roman numerals. Some wiseacre came along and wrote the year the right way in chalk:


(photo by Lee Bey)

This view from the back of the church is interesting:


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)

And with a downed "One Way sign" out front.


(photo by Lee Bey)