Dating back to 1906, a time capsule was discovered in the cornerstone of the Episcopal Church of the Advent at 2900 W. Logan Boulevard. The decommissioned church is being converted into nine-residential units by developer JAB Real Estate. Church of the Advent is one of Logan Square’s oldest churches and the time capsule provides a fascinating insight into what the neighborhood and church were like in the early 1900s.
Upon opening the metal box time capsule, Andrew Schneider, president of the neighborhood group Logan Square Preservation, found it to be filled with historic church documents in near-perfect condition, including a pages-long scroll from the cornerstone laying ceremony. Mina Bloom’s Block Club Chicago article includes greater details and many photos of the contents.
The historic Church of the Advent at 2900 W. Logan Boulevard in Logan Square closed in 2016, almost exactly 110 years after first occupying the church building in 1906. It was designed by Elmer Jensen, a senior partner in the highly respected architecture firm of Jenney, Mundie & Jensen, who also served as the church’s choirmaster.
Because of the religious building exemption in landmark districts without owner consent, the historic church building was not protected from demolition as part the surrounding Logan Boulevards Landmark District. When the building was listed for sale, it received significant interest from developers with plans for demolition and new construction.
After a community-driven preservation effort, the building was ultimately sold to JAB Real Estate, who will preserve the exterior and convert the building into nine residential units. The stained glass windows will be saved and the building will be added to the surrounding Logan Square Boulevards Chicago Landmark District.
Ward Miller, executive director for Preservation Chicago, described the building as “a very important structure that is tied to the early history of Logan Square. This is a wonderful reuse of a religious building.” (Bloom, DNAinfo, 9/7/17)
This successful preservation-oriented outcome is due to the advocacy efforts of Logan Square Preservation, Preservation Chicago, Logan Square community members, and a special thanks to 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack for his support and leadership.