A new roof has been installed at the Shrine of Christ the King following a massive fire in 2015. Preservation Chicago wishes to applaud the tireless dedication and leadership of Emily Nielsen, Save the Shrine, the Coalition to Save the Institute of Christ the King Church, Landmarks Illinois, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and all of the preservation partners who have helped to save and rebuild this incredible Chicago Landmark.
Preservation Chicago has continued to play an important role in the Shrine’s restoration, including recently by supporting the Shrine’s successful application for the National Fund for Sacred Places. In 2017, the Shrine was the only Chicago house of worship to be accepted into this competitive program, which includes a $250,000 grant to support the restoration.
The Shrine, built as St. Clara and landmarked as St. Gelasius in 2003, has been one of Preservation Chicago’s most consistent efforts over the past two decades. When the neo-Renaissance masterpiece of Chicago architect Henry Schlacks at 6401 S. Woodlawn Avenue was first threatened with demolition in 2002, Preservation Chicago, along with our partner organization Landmarks Illinois, led the successful effort to designate the building as a Chicago Landmark in 2003. When the Shrine was once again threatened with demolition following the massive fire that destroyed its roof in 2015, Preservation Chicago again rallied to #SaveTheShrine, generating $650,000 in pledges to secure the building, and facilitating an unprecedented transfer of ownership from the Archdiocese of Chicago to an independent Catholic religious order, The Institute of Christ the King.