A raging fire guts Adler & Sullivan's 1891 K.A.M./Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood and, in silencing the rich echoes of over a century of human aspiration, offers a potent reminder of how architecture channels urban memory. Read about it and see the images here.
Beautiful article. One historic error that I noticed--all sources that I've seen say that KAM started in 1847, not 1861 (this includes the AIA Guide), so I don't think Adler was the first Rabbi. KAM was Chicago's first Jewish congregation, and one of KAM's earlier sites was on the block bounded by Dearborn, Clark, Adams, and Jackson (where the Federal Center now stands).
Is there any plans to save what's left of the structure? Could be an amazing base to a modern class church.
Jan. 18th I just learned about the loss of Sullivan's great work. To think that I never had the opportunity to pray inside the walls truly pains me. I did not know Sullivan was a pallbearer at Adler's funeral. Several years ago I searched for a biography on Adler and was amazed that no one had written one. Or I was not able to find one...
I'm not sure that all of our famous Chicago architects' structures should be saved/refurbished, but I do know a masterpiece.
While a student at IIT, my most vivid memory of what followed Dr. King's assassination was hearing outdoor speakers mounted on the Church. Lovely music came westward to our campus that day.
I became seriously obsessed with Sullivan in the late 70's. I recall the Stock Exchange Bld debacle, and I lived near Belden and Halsted and saw that beautiful Burnham and Root church go..later I see Richard Nickel peeked in the same window I did, and took 'the last' photo of the interior. I've taken many an exterior shot of Pilgrim, but never was able to gain entrance. I know many drawings are at Columbia University. But one thing Bart Swindall said to me on a walk thru the Auditorium, Louis was a master of color. I hope they can match color in both the glass, but the mural, and the walls. I hope I live to see the day when the Stock Exchange is rebuilt, somewhere, in Chicago, the Garrick, and other lost buildings. It seems the folk at Taliesein (sic) keep drawings of Wright's lost work. Not that I want to see recreative pieces at Home Depot, but a little bit of rememberence isn't a bad thing.
Frank at capofrank @ yahoo.com
Fascinating and informative piece. Is there recent discussion on this important building and efforts to rebuild?
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