Monday, October 6, 2014


Chicago's Iconic Houses of Worship

Chicago is an "architectural town" -- known the world over for its beautiful buildings and breathtaking skyline. Many of the most notable are the City's churches and other houses of worship built for communities established both before, and in the aftermath of, the Chicago Fire in 1871.

These buildings not only are aesthetically pleasing, but they also serve as a connection to the diverse immigrant past of Chicago.

After the Chicago Fire of 1871, much of the city had to be rebuilt, making Chicago the perfect place for both established and emerging architects, such as Daniel Burnham and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work not only reflected the Victorian Era, but also architectural styles of the "prairie", with its wide open horizontal spaces and integration of structure and nature, as the 20th century unfolded. 

Ranging from resolutely mainstream to the ethnically-rooted and the avant-garde, its houses of worship reflect the unique diversity of Chicago's highly creative architecture, as well as the spiritual diversity of the people who have made their homes in this vibrant City.  

Many of Chicago's iconic houses of worship are centerpieces within the ethnic communities they continue to serve.  They represent a link between the old and the new traditions, and the continuity which transcends both. 

Chicago's faith-based affiliated colleges have also become 
historically significant attractions in the City.  DePaul University, the 
largest Catholic university in the country, first founded by the Vincentians 
in 1898 to serve Roman Catholic children of immigrants, has since 
grown into an acclaimed liberal arts college.  Loyola University of 
Chicago, a Jesuit university founded in 1870, is now the largest 
Jesuit university in the U.S. and home to the Saint Joseph College 
Seminary and the Jesuit First Studies Program, one of only three 
such programs in the country.

In 2014, the Americana HeritageTours division of our heritage and cultural tour planning company, Snobby Tours®, Inc., launched our FAITH-BASED CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE TOUR: HISTORIC HOUSES OF WORSHIP©.

This Tour is guided by various Chicago expert historians affiliated with the 
Chicago Architectural Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, 
the City of Chicago, and the historic houses of worship included on this Tour.

It is also scheduled to coincide with Chicago's Annual Gospel Music Festival 

which showcases the best in local, national and international Gospel Music 
performers. Held over four days in three locations, The Chicago Gospel Music 
Festival includes the weekend at Ellis Park in historic Bronzeville, the birthplace 
of Gospel Music.

Each guide on this unique Tour provides extensive expertise regarding the 
work of Chicago's most prolific architects and knowledge of Chicago's eclectic 
neighborhoods and their history, and the distinctive architectural styles 
which are reflective of the diverse ethnic cultures and religions which have 
become the overall fabric of Chicago.

Leaders of the various houses of worship have one-on-one dialogues 
about their congregations and their history in the Chicago community.  
Faith-based houses of worship on this Tour include Catholic, Episcopal, 
Jewish, PresbyterianMethodist, Unitarian, Baha'i, Baptist and Islamic, inter alia.

Early Bird Reservation Discounts apply to our custom-created,  FAITH-BASED CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE TOUR: HISTORIC HOUSES OF WORSHIP©.  For more information and to book this unique and interesting 
Tour, visit us at:  

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