Churches in Chicago
With a long history of immigration from different parts of Europe, Chicago is home to numerous churches reflecting that immigrant heritage. The most famous are its "Polish cathedrals", Roman Catholic churches built by Polish immigrants. There are also numerous other treasures scattered throughout the metropolitan area.
In the city
Despite the terminology, none of these churches are cathedrals in the technical sense of the word (i.e. seats of bishops), but nevertheless, they are still marvels to look at both on the outside and the inside. Most people would consider a number of them to be architecturally more impressive than Chicago's Roman Catholic cathedral. A few of these churches are visible in the skyline as you drive along the I-94 freeway.
- 1 St John Cantius Church, 825 N Carpenter St. Completed in 1898, and one of the few local churches to still conduct Masses in Latin. Today, it is best known for its sacred music program, where the sacred music of the great composers like Palestrina, Haydn and Mozart is performed as part of the liturgy for special occasions. Their annual performance of Mozart's Requiem for All Souls' Day (November 2) as part of the liturgy is particularly popular, and attracts many non-Christians too.
- 2 Holy Innocents Church, 743 N Armour St.
- 3 Holy Trinity Church, 1118 N Noble St. One of the few remaining churches to conduct Mass exclusively in Polish. Its interior is rich in iconography with beautiful frescos on the ceiling. The church continues to run a Polish school.
- 4 St Stanislaus Kostka Church, 1351 W Evergreen Ave.
- 5 St Mary Of The Angels, 1850 N Hermitage Ave. Perhaps the best known of Chicago's "Polish cathedrals", the church's roof is lined with beautiful sculptures of angels, and its interior with beautiful frescos on the ceiling.
- 6 St Hedwig Church, 2226 N Hoyne Ave.
- 7 St Hyacinth Basilica, 3636 W Wolfram St. One of only three Catholic basilicas in the city, one of the architectural highlights is its distinctive bronze front doors with sculptures depicting the history of the church.
In the Ukrainian Village
Chicago has also been a preferred destination for Ukrainian immigrants, with the eponymous Ukrainian Village being home to a particularly high concentration of them, and numerous churches built to serve the community.
- 8 St Nicholas Cathedral, 835 N. Oakley Blvd. Chicago's Ukrainian Catholic cathedral, built by immigrants from Western Ukraine. The church continues to run a Ukrainian school. Part of the Eastern Catholic churches, they celebrate their liturgy according to the Eastern Orthodox (Byzantine) rite, but recognize the Pope in Rome as their highest authority, like Roman Catholics.
- 9 Sts Volodymyr and Olha Church, 739 N Oakley Blvd. Ukrainian Catholic church completed in 1971 during a brief neighborhood schism over whether to use the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Above the front entrance is a mosaic of the Baptism of the Rus' by Vladimir the Great, also known as St Vladimir of Kiev (St Volodymyr of Kyiv to Ukrainians), a pivotal event in Russian and Ukrainian history.
- 10 Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, 1121 N Leavitt St. Russian Orthodox cathedral designed by Louis Sullivan, and built with funding from Tsar Nicholas II.
- 11 Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E Chestnut St. A neo-Gothic church on Magnificent Mile, the main luxury shopping street.
- 12 Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S Woodlawn Ave. Main chapel of the University of Chicago, built in a Gothic revival architectural style.
- 13 Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N State St. Chicago's Roman Catholic cathedral.
- 14 Old St Patrick's Church, 700 W Adams St. In West Town, founded as the first English-speaking Roman Catholic local parish, to serve Irish immigrants. One of the few buildings to survive the Great 1871 Fire.
- 15 St Michael's in Old Town, 1633 N Cleveland Ave. Originally built to serve German and Luxembourgish Catholic immigrants, another survivor of the Great 1871 Fire.
In the suburbs
- 16 St. Mary of Częstochowa, 3010 S 48th Ct, Cicero. Completed in 1918, it is one of the few "Polish cathedrals" in the area outside Chicago city limits.
- 17 St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Ave, Evanston. Completed in 1909 in a neo-Gothic architectural style, with a historic 1922 Skinner pipe organ, and an acclaimed choir following the English choral tradition. The church is also home to a historically-informed baroque ensemble known as Bella Voce, known for their annual performance of Handel's Messiah in November.
- 18 Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Rd, Evanston. Main chapel of Northwestern University.
- 19 Grace Lutheran Church and School, 7300 Division St, River Forest. Small church on the campus of Concordia University, it is most notable for its monthly Bach Cantata Vespers, where a sacred cantata of Johann Sebastian Bach is performed in its originally-intended liturgical context.