“The West Side has a new Chicago landmark: the 90-year-old Pentecostal Church of Holiness in the K-Town neighborhood of North Lawndale.
“The landmark designation was approved by City Council Wednesday, giving the building at 1444 S. Keeler Ave. protection from demolition and access to tax and financial incentives. The church’s Pastor Chaun Johnson started pursuing landmark status in 2019.
“‘We want to ensure that those who hear about North Lawndale will know that there is a lily in the valley. There is beauty in what seems to be degradation,’ said pastor Chaun Johnson.
“The church was originally founded as a Catholic parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, that served the predominantly Czech population who migrated to Lawndale from the Pilsen neighborhood. The Catholic parish was originally a wooden building, but as the congregation grew, it was rebuilt in 1932 in the Romanesque Revival-style architecture that survives today.
“The church remained a central part of K-Town even as the area transformed to a Black community in the ’50s, as racist housing policy and disinvestment made it one of the poorest parts of Chicago.
“‘I want to preserve it. We want to preserve our history, and demonstrate and show the community that we are invested in our neighborhood,’ Johnson said. (Sabino, Block Club Chicago, 5/26/21)
West Side’s Pentecostal Church Of Holiness Is Now A Chicago Landmark, The landmark designation recognizes the cultural significance of the 90-year-old church and its historical architecture, Pascal Sabino, Block Club Chicago, 5/26/21
Saving classic churches sends a message: Old Chicago neighborhoods remain promised lands; Given its architectural beauty and history of service to Chicago, the Pentecostal Church of Holiness should be a shoo-in for landmark status, Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, 2/3/21