“The stunning (and I use not that word lightly) new venue is the former Church of the Epiphany — an Episcopal church located at 201 S. Ashland Ave. that was built in 1885 in the Richardson Romanesque style with a sandstone exterior and a bell tower. Although decommissioned in 2011, this beautiful church on a quiet but historic block saw more than its share of important civic events, including the funeral of Mayor Carter Harrison Sr., who was assassinated in 1893 in his home, the victim of a political supporter who thought he’d get a job after Harrison was elected (for more on all of that, see Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City”).
“The re-development plans have been churning around the West Loop for some two years now, with the owner and developer David Chase forced to reassure neighbors at public hearings held earlier this year that he did not plan a major nightclub within the Jackson Boulevard Historic District. In the press coverage of Chase’s request for liquor and entertainment licenses, the venue was described as an “extraordinary new single-destination wedding venue” that would also work for “bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners and after-parties.”
“But when I went over to the Epiphany Center, the talk was more of dance, theater, visual art, music and magic in what Chase described as a 42,000-square-foot palace of the arts, a location that Chase imagines brimming with practicing artists of all stripes. Chase, who says he has spent some $15 million to acquire and renovate the building, even has a mission right on the website: “To instill an artistic, cultural experience in all patrons who cross our threshold with the hope that each will be inspired to realize their own Epiphany.”
“The owners said their motivation was not profit but to “activate” something beautiful for the community that also would preserve the architectural glory of this church.”(Jones, 10/30/19)
Historic Church Of The Epiphany Transformed Into $15 Million Wedding And Event Venue Opening This Winter; Epiphany Center for the Arts includes three venues (Epiphany Hall, The Sanctuary, The Catacombs), a cafe and a courtyard, Mauricio Peña, Block Club Chicago, 11/6/19