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Protesters Fight To Preserve Historic South Side Church

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St. James Catholic Church. (Credit: CBS)

St. James Catholic Church. (Credit: CBS)

John Cody. John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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CHICAGO (CBS) — As workers dismantled the historic organ in Saint James Church at 29th and Wabash, parishioners and preservationists sang of a future where the building still stands, reports WBBM’s John Cody.

Inside the chilly church under a 65 foot vaulted ceiling, some 20 protestors gathered to say the church has survived a century, could last another thousand years, why take it down?

“There was structural steel added to shore up the integral support and structure of this building. This building is not coming down,” said restaurant operator and Saint James Parishioner Dave Samber

Samber says one real estate magnate has pledged that for $5 million, he can guarantee rehab and upgrading of the South Side landmark and it’s 200 foot steeple still slated for demolition as outmoded and too expensive to maintain.

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