CHICAGO (CBS) — After a three-year fight to save it, an iconic church in the Pilsen neighborhood, St. Adalbert’s, will no longer be used for worship, effective next month.
The final Mass will be celebrated on July 14, the Chicago Archdiocese said Sunday. Preservationists have been fighting to save the church since the Archdiocese first announced plans to close the historic building in 2016.
“St. Adalbert has been an anchor in the Pilsen community for more than 100 years and the Archdiocese recognizes its prominent role in Chicago history,” the Archdiocese said in a statement. “However, we must be mindful of parish resources and the significant investment required to repair and stabilize the church building.”
The church, at 1636 W. 17th St., a Renaissance Revival cathedral with twin 185-foot towers, was designed by architect Henry Schlacks. It is the tallest structure in the Pilsen neighborhood.
It appeared that the church might be saved when St. Adalbert’s received a $3 million donation from a deceased parish member in March, 2016.
The gift turned out to be stock later valued at $1.5 million and wasn’t enough to save the building.
The current church has stood at the corner of 17th and Paulina streets since 1914, but the Archdiocese has said repairs for the church’s towers and other badly needed overhauls would be too costly. The archdiocese announced in 2016 that it planned to close St. Adalbert’s under a plan to consolidate six Pilsen parishes into three.
It was placed on a Preservation Chicago’s endangered buildings list in 2014.
“Any future plans for the St. Adalbert property will be sensitive to the desires of the community and other constituent groups,” the Archdiocese statement said.