Church of St. Vitus (Chicago)
|The Former St. Vitus' Roman Catholic Church Complex|
|Town or city||Pilsen, Chicago, Illinois|
|Client||The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago|
St. Vitus's Church Complex was a former late-nineteenth-century Roman Catholic church located in Pilsen, Chicago, Illinois at 1814 South Paulina Street, and corner of 18th Street. The complex was closed in 1990 and adaptively reused as the Guadalupano Family Center, a daycare and cultural center thereafter.
The complex contained a 4,500-square-foot (420 m2) church (1896–1897), rectory (1898), and parish school (1902). The complex was closed 1990. The National Trust for Historic Preservation profiled the structure as a good example of adaptive reuse: "A community task force collaborated with area interfaith organizations to develop a non-profit community development corporation called The Resurrection Project. This group was organized to specifically focus on developing and overseeing uses for the complex, as well as developing numerous low-income and affordable housing units and residences in the area." The church was renovated 1992-1996 as a "state-of-the-art day care facility was designed for the former parochial school, and plans are underway for a cultural center in the now hollow sanctuary space that was destroyed by a fire….The Resurrection Project operates one of the most active community reinvestment programs in the area from the [church]," costing $1.2 million for conversion of school and $400,000, anticipated repairs to church.
Its location in a Latino neighborhood enabled its large number of parishioners to work with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago to explore reuse options with a team of architects, urban planners, historic preservationists, low-income housing specialists, commercial developers, and educators to create Guadalupano Family Center, a day care and cultural activity center. Opened in 1994, the child care facility "that operates on a sliding scale fee, serving the population of 6,000 children between 3 and 12 years of age living within 1/2 mile of the center. The center also employs a staff of 22 teachers."
- National Trust for Historic Preservation, "The Resurrection Project" (15 June 2005), Preservation Nation, http://www.preservationnation.org/resources/case-studies/historic-houses-of-worship/the-resurrection-project.html (accessed 23 May 2008).
- Cohen, Diane and A. Robert Jaeger. Strategies for the Stewardship and Active Use of Older and Historic Religious Properties. Preservation Information Series. (Washington, D.C.: The Preservation Press, National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States, 1996.), p.19
- Partners for Sacred Places, "Adaptive Reuse Profiles: Community Facilities," http://www.sacredplaces.org/ (accessed 4 May 2008).