4501 North Hermitage Avenue
The church was built in 1890. The parish house was added in 1912.
John S Woollacott designed this church with its restrained rustication of stone-work. Note, too, the colorful floral and geometric stained–glass windows, which were brought from another church and installed here. The belfry appears to be covered in an attempt to restrain the traffic of pigeons.
This was the second building for the Ravenswood Methodist Church. The first was originally built downtown, as a temporary structure for the First Methodist Church, which was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. That first building was given to the Ravenswood Methodist church in 1873, and was moved from downtown to a lot three blocks west of this location for the newly organized congregation. In 1879, it
was moved again, to this site, and stood at the back of the lot next to the alley. It may not have been particularly beautiful; one neighbor, John McLauchlan, described it as “a big drygoods box.”
The present building, which cost $26,000, was built some 11 years later; its architect, John Woollacott, also designed the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church at 600 West Fullerton, built in l888.
G.M. Turnbull designed the parish house in 1912; the parsonage, replacing one built in the late 1880s, was built in 1963 through a bequest from Eleanor Abbott Ford, a daughter of Dr. Wallace Abbott. Dr. Abbott, founder of Abbott Laboratories, donated the original organ for the church, which is still in use and fills a monumental arch on the east wall.
Early parishioners include Martin Van Allen, the secretary of the Ravenswood Land Company- and Mary McDowell, the founder of the settlement house of the University of Chicago near the stockyards. Berry Memorial Methodist Church on Leavitt Street grew out of this church.
CCL Survey; Parish Records; Recorder of Deeds Office. Parish Hall Permit is A 6001; N 1; Page 304: File 18075, on 7/13/12 (G. M. Turnbull, architect}. American_Contractor. 7/20/1912.
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