A Bronzeville church that was the last commission of Louis Sullivan's collaborator Dankmar Adler--and would later host the first modern gospel choir beneath its stunning coffered barreled ceiling--could take a step toward city landmark status today.
Assuming the inclement weather doesn't cause a postponement, staffers from the city's Landmarks Division are set to ask the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to grant preliminary landmark status for Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, a brick Classical Revival beauty at 4501 S. Vincennes. If granted, the move would give protected landmark status to the 112-year-old church while the staff investigates the possibility of permanent landmark status.
Built in 1899 as synagogue Isaiah Temple, the 1200-seat church is known for its beauty and for its acoustics--a hallmark of Adler's work. Adler, who with Sullivan, designed a collection of well-known buildings, including the Auditorium Theater, Pilgrim Baptist Church and the former Carson Pirie Scott flagship on State Street died in 1900.
The temple became predominantly black Ebenezer Missionary Baptist in 1921. A decade later at the church, musicians Thomas A. Dorsey, Professor Theodore R.