The Most Beautiful Churches In Chicago

Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. 1912 landmark church with neo-Gothic styling & stained glass by Charles Connick
Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. 1912 landmark church with neo-Gothic styling & stained glass by Charles Connick | © photo.eccles / Alamy Stock Photo
Benita Gingerella

Chicago is home to a variety of brilliant architecture, and its churches are no exception. From Baroque to Byzantine, here are some of the most beautiful churches in the city.

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Fourth Presbyterian Church

Amid the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue lies Fourth Presbyterian Church. The church was founded in 1871 and was originally located on Wabash and Grand. After the Great Chicago Fire destroyed the church, Fourth Presbyterian moved to Rush and Superior in 1874. Finally, in 1914, Fourth Presbyterian moved to its current location on North Michigan Avenue. The church features beautiful stained glass designed by Charles J. Connick as well as an adjacent courtyard. Fourth Presbyterian Church is the second oldest building located north of the Chicago River.

Holy Name Cathedral

Holy Name Cathedral was built in the Gothic style and measures 233 feet long, 126 feet wide, and 210 feet high. Notable artistic components of the cathedral include the bronze doors designed by Albert J. Friscia, the hanging crucifix sculpted by Ivo Demetz, and the two pipe organs.

St. Michael in Old Town

Located in the heart of Old Town, St. Michael’s was built in 1852 to provide worship services to German immigrants who had settled in the neighborhood. The original church was made of wood; however, in 1869, a new church was built of stone. It was considered to be the tallest building in Chicago until the Chicago Board of Trade was built in 1885. St. Michael’s is one of only six buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire.

St. Clement

St. Clement is located in Lincoln Park and was built in 1918 by Thomas P. Barnett. The church is modeled after the Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey and was built in a Byzantine style. Beautiful religious paintings adorn the walls and ceiling of the church.

St. John Cantius Church

St. John Cantius Church is located one mile west of Michigan Avenue near the intersection of Ogden, Chicago, and Milwaukee Avenue. The church was built between 1892-1893 to accommodate the influx of Polish immigrants to the area. St. John Cantius Church was designed by Adolphus Druiding and built in the Baroque style, modeled after churches built in Krakow, Poland.

Old St. Patrick’s Church

Old St. Patrick’s Church, or Old St. Pat’s for short, was founded in 1846 and was the first English-speaking parish in the city. The church survived the Great Chicago Fire, and it is the oldest public building in the city. It was designed by Augustus Bauer and Asher Carter. Old St. Pat’s features 15 stained-glass windows designed by Thomas A. O’Shaughnessy who drew inspiration from the Celtic art exhibit at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the Book of Kells in Ireland.

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