A bare auditorium, with dome, arched
windows and altar (photo by Lee Bey)
Hyde Park's vacant former St. Stephen's Church--an edifice that has been the subject of a decade's worth of failed redevelopment plans--is now for sale. Asking price:$1.7 million.
Built in 1915 as the Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist, the building's limestone facade with curved walls that open like a pair of welcoming arms still conveys a certain pride and strength. But a decade of disuse has turned the interior into a heartbreakingly beautiful ruin; its majestic spaces sit beneath a veil of failing plaster, graffiti, broken glass and decay. How did it get this way? University of Chicago Maroon reporter Asher Klein nicely chronicled the church's recent history in this 2009 piece.