Back to travel page

Four Chicago Houses of Worship
June 28, 2009

The New Trier Extension Program organized a tour that included four places of worship from four demonimations.
We began with the Chicago Loop Synagogue (16 S. Clark St.) and went next to
Holy Trinity Cathedral (1121 N. Leavitt) (American Orthodox),
St. Michael's (455 W. Eugenie) and
the Midwest Buddhist Temple (435 W. Menomonee).  

Chicago Loop Synagogue

Crammed with symbolism and rather esoteric, but impressive: the 30x40 foot
window by Abraham Rattner was executed in Paris and installed in 1960.
Upper left (yellow): The Tree of Life, surrounded (squares) by the 12 tribes. The
branching yellow structure (right) is the Palm of Shins, from the Succot harvest festival.

The inscription across the bottomr reads: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

On the left, two letters from the inscription.
The window on the right portrays the holidays of the liturgical year.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, designed by Louis Sullivan

Built 1902-3, seems small outside--about 50x100 feet--but not inside.

A sterling Sullivan signature.

As much as anything, I loved the contrast between the traditional ornamentation and the start modernism of Sullivan's architecture.

St. Michael's
A war memorial erected in 1959, when the German heritage of the parish had probably
absorbed the shock of World War II as well as that of the Great War.

The Michael of the 1870s (right) is much superior to his modern cousin!

The hinges on the front doors & the statue overhead. Much is made of the Romanesque look of the exterior,
but in truth it seems neither Romanesque nor Gothic. The church was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871
but rebuilt by 1873. The altar is nearly 60 feet high.

Overhead, the four evangelists.

"Econciliation," I was thinking, must be something new, confession & absolution
in a Tweet, perhaps, or via email? Probably, however, we're just missing the R here.

Midwest Buddhist Temple

The religion of less is more.

July 5, 2009