On Sunday, a hardy bunch of parishioners and preservationists held a vigil in the morning chill, calling on Cardinal George and the Chicago Archdiocese not to go through with their plans to wreck the 130-year-old St. James Church at 2942 South Wabash, one of the few surviving buildings by architect Patrick C. Keely, who also designed Holy Name Cathedral.
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Rick Kogan did on his WBEZ Afternoon Shift with Dave Samber (who you hear singing in our video clip) of Polo Cafe, where there are weekly meetings of Friends of Historic St. James every Tuesday at 7:00, and novelist Mary Pat Kelly
Joseph Cacciatore . . .
Joseph Cacciatore, real estate developer, prominent family, and in indeed in this case a Catholic family, has come up with an idea, and he's made a proposal that I understand has been presented to Cardinal George before the conclave even started.
And the proposal is to allow him as a general contractor with his great expertise and resources to come in and for a total price tag, a turnkey, full contract price of $5 million, he will deliver the keys to the church at the end that would be fully acceptable to the city and to the building codes and to the wishes of the congregation in terms of ventilation and air conditioning and he will then, at the time he turns over the keys, write a check for a half million dollars back to the church.
This has just come up. We are now in the process of trying to figure out how do we raise the four and a half million dollars. We think it's very doable.Reports are that the Archdiocese has already pledged $5 to $7 million for construction of a new church on a site on Michigan Avenue a block to the east.
Will 130 years of history and faith be destroyed? Friends of History St. James rally to forestall wrecking ball.