While architect Benjamin Franklin Olson can be said to have done more aesthetic harm than good refurbishing the Ravenswood Presbyterian Church, this building has a number of appealing features, particularly in the east facade of the sanctuary. Note the cut stone which accentuates the vertical elements, elegantly laid brickwork which gives a horizontal texture, and concave wall welcoming the visitor to the church’s main entrance. The cloister and parish house also integrate well with the sanctuary building and make a pleasant whole. The building cost about $150,000 in 1930.
Olson also designed St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 2335 North Orchard Street (just south of Fullerton), a 1959 Neo-Gothic church. Like this church, St. Paul’s integrates a number of different building materials into a pleasing whole.
Before the church was built, Robert J. Bennett had a large, brick house on this site, which was the finest house in this neighborhood For many years. Bennett, who was a partner in the wholesale grocery firm of W.M. Hoyt Company, is best known locally as a real estate developer and philanthropist. He owned extensive property in Ravenswood and commissioned a number of houses, such as the McLaughlan and Knight homes that we just saw, as well as apartment buildings, one of which we will see later on the tour. He also built an office building, known as the Bennett Building, at the northwest corner of Wilson and East Ravenswood avenues. In 1891 he donated the land for and underwrote the construction of the first YMCA in Ravenswood, which was built at the back of his office building. Eleven years later he donated land at the southeast corner of Wilson and Hermitage for a new YMCA .
Permit #835331; Plan AB 369; Water 210222; File 220772; 44; Page 484 on 3/6/1930. Also check Parish records.
WALKING DIRECTIONS TO NEXT LOCATION
Continue the tour to 4251 North Paulina Street.
- The next building is across the street, about 33′ from you.
- Click the ‘Continue the Tour’ button below when you’ve reached your destination.