CHICAGO (CBS) – A stalled plan to rebuild the historic Pilgrim Baptist Church is getting new life.
The church, at 3301 S. Indiana Ave. in the Bronzeville neighborhood, was destroyed in an extra-alarm fire on Jan. 6, 2006. Since then, only a shell has remained, with yellow metal beams holding up the 50-foot walls.
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A $37 million rebuilding plan was unveiled in 2008, but the plan fell through.
But board of trustees chairman Robert Vaughn now tells the Chicago Tribune that members of the church have been meeting with engineers and architects for a new plan. An official announcement is expected Saturday.
Some of the work is scheduled to begin this year, but the church still needs more money for the project, the Tribune reported.
The historic church was designed by legendary architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, and was completed in 1891. It was originally built for the Kehilath Anshe Ma’ariv synagogue, which continues now in Hyde Park as K.A.M. Isaiah Israel.
Pilgrim Baptist opened in the space in 1922, and is considered to be the birthplace of gospel music. Thomas A. Dorsey created that sound there in the 1930s, and Mahalia Jackson was among those who sang there.
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