The long-vacant St. Boniface Catholic Church in West Town heads back to court next week following a hearing earlier this month that determined the Chicago Academy of Music would have at least another month to engage the community and seek approval for their plans to convert the historic church into a music center with a residential development on the adjacent land, now vacant, that used to be the site of the parish school, convent and rectory.
The Chicago Academy of Music presented a letter of intent last month to purchase and rehabilitate the property at Noble & Chestnut. Preservation Chicago continues to encourage a re-use rather than a demolition.
The proposal would require a zoning change and the community still needs to review the proposal and all of its aspects. Alderman Walter Burnett has said he will support any plans that the community ultimately supports or approves. Preservation Chicago continues to believe the development could benefit the neighborhood in a very positive way with music programs for both children and adults as well as regular concerts within the historic church structure.
If successful, the proposal could result in a positive outcome in the long-standing efforts to preserve this magnificent church by the prolific Henry Schlacks. Protection of this building was one of the founding issues of Preservation Chicago and, as such, has been among our longest-standing advocacy efforts. We’re thrilled to see a semi-public use proposed for this structure that would draw on its strength, historic architecture, rather than simply repurposing it into some type of residential use.