Former South Side church still blessed with cool midcentury artwork

July 7, 2011

I recently took a look at the former Timothy Lutheran Church, a mid-century edifice on 83rd and Paulina.

The church closed in 2008 and the building is being preserved and turned into a charter school. But what grabbed my eye was not the building itself, but the supremely cool iconography the Lutherans left behind. Located above the church's front entrance, the nine panels have a modernist beauty:

Here are the panels as they are arranged on the church:

I wasn't able to find out if the art will remain on the building after the charter school moves in. Perhaps I'll be able to provide an update later.

IN OTHER NEWS: The Commission on Chicago Landmarks today will decide whether to give preliminary landmark status to 55 E. Jackson, the dark modernist companion to the more visible tall red CNA Building. The steel-and-glass building completed in 1962 as Continental Center is an early example of International Style architecture in Chicago's Loop, predating the Daley Center, the Dirksen Federal Building by two to three years. The 23-story tower is the work of C.F. Murphy Associates (now Murphy/Jahn) and its designers Jacques Brownson and James Ferris. Brownson was chief designer of the Daley Center.