Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Fun Activity: Where IS this?


     Who knows how many churches are in Chicago?
     I wouldn't hazard a guess—one local TV station estimated 6,000, but they didn't source that figure.
     Though it sounds about right.
     Of course first, you'd have to define what you mean by "churches"?
     Does that refer to church buildings? Because some of those are empty, or have been pressed into other purposes. There's a church on the North Side that was made into condos. Is it still a "church?"
     Or a congregations? Because many of those meet in storefronts.
     It isn't as if the city keeps a master church list, to my knowledge. You don't have to register your church, or get a church license.
     This lovely structure caught my eye during my wanderings around the city this week, for its charming maroon-roofed tower, and its matching awning announcing "LOVE."
      (And yes, I plugged those into Google to see if they give the game away: they don't. Lots of churches, lots of love).
      So where is this particular church?
      I've gone through something of a transformation during the "Saturday Fun Activity" process. As much as I want to stump you guys, I think part of me will be sad when that finally happens, if it finally happens, the way the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series drained away a little of the specialness that came from their long string of defeats. As thwarted as I've been in my attempts to frustrate the Hive, I think when I eventually do—perhaps with this church, hiding in plain sight—it'll be a melancholy victory.
     Or heck, maybe I'll be triumphant. Hard to predict these things.
     So place your guesses below. The winner gets a package of excellent Bridgeport coffee. Except for Dale—he's already got his. When I shipped him his prize package for last Saturday, I tucked in an extra bag, as an advance against his next victory. Seemed an efficiency. I probably should have shipped three. Good luck to all. And if it's King Dale, well, I'm okay with that too. 

Postscript
     In case this put you in the mood for more photos of churches—and synagogues, and mosques—the winner, who photographed the church above last year, shared a website, "Chicago Houses of Worship" featuring thousands of pictures of, well, you know. 

17 comments:

  1. Is this the church at Sheridan & Wilson.
    And I never did get my coffee from a few weeks ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope.
      Sorry to hear that, but did you: a) guess correctly? and b) send your address to me? A number of people have forgotten that last step. I can't email the coffee to you.

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    2. Yes & yes, but I'll resend it.

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    3. For the record, Clark St.'s address was not quite noticeable on his email, apparently due to a gmail glitch. He's getting his prize. I'd have preferred he just ask me about it directly, rather than complaining publicly here, but that's people for you. I take the contest seriously—people work hard to win it— and I'm scrupulous in making sure readers get their rewards.

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  2. I hope seeing all those churches doesn't upset you, Sir.

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    Replies
    1. Me? I'm the one who took the picture. I love churches. Most attractive aspect of religion. At least they're real.

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    2. All too real. For some. In trying to find the "Love" church, I ran into a lot of commentary on the demolition of St. James. I recall seeing over the years a number of synagogues in the City that were, at least to me, architecturally spectacular. Many are now in areas such as South Shore in which very few, if any, Jewish people now reside. Is there is as much hullabaloo when a synagogue is abandoned, demolished or converted as there is for Catholic churches?

      John

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    3. It depends on who's demolishing the synagogue. When it's our own assimilation, indifference and neglect, we tend to cough in our fists and hurry onward.

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  3. Alright, since the gauntlet has been thrown, how long do we get to guess this one? I feel the pressure, lol. I think I'm on the right track, but who knows for sure. Now I am reduced to finding some sort of minuscule detail in the photo that will point me in the right direction. And just a suggestion for my fellow contestants... if you have a random guess, look it up on google maps first. That will either confirm or deny it. Just saying'...
    Dale

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    Replies
    1. Better luck next time. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. See below.

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  4. Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Englewood. I photographed it last year.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, congratulations Brule Laker! I was driving by and thought: "This'll stump 'em." But it didn't. Send your address to dailysteinberg@gmail.com and I'll mail you a bag of delicious Bridgeport cofee.

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  5. Fantastic, nice job! I was going in a different direction, looking at Universalist Unitarian or non-demonational churches, since I didn't see any crosses or religious imagery. Plus, who said it had to be used as a church, currently? I'm afraid you are going to have to try harder to stump us, Neil.
    Dale

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    Replies
    1. I was sure it was out this way (Southwest Side), but didn't have the smarts to look it up. Probably looked the same, except for the canopy, in 1942 when I was born in Englewood Hospital.
      John

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  6. Here's a collection of 800+ photos of Chicago houses of worship: in use, repurposed (religious and secular) and a few demolished. https://www.flickr.com/photos/brulelaker/sets/72157608629265053/

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  7. What's with that reddish mask on the page . What cult do you belong to? just kidding

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