The Summerdale Congregational Church, one of the oldest in the Edgewater/Uptown neighborhoods, stood at the corner of Farragut Avenue and Paulina Avenue from 1893 until early 2017. In the final days before its demolition, I was granted limited access to document what remained of the building’s interior.
Summerdale Congregational Church several months prior to demolition.
The Summerdale Congregation formed in 1889. In 1893 the church occupying the corner of Farragut & Paulina was constructed.
The church stood until January of 2017.
By the time I had access to the church, work had begun to dismantle the interior fixtures.
The choir loft had been destabilized during the removal of the church's organ, one of the few elements to be salvaged and sold, according to the wreckers.
The church's modest design included bead board ceilings and wainscoting, though the pews were a heavy carved oak.
The fireplace, rug, and furnishings in the rear quarters remained intact, though the walls enclosing the space had already been torn down at the time of documentation.
The stairs to the choir loft, a highlight of the church's architectural modesty and economy, despite showing signs of age. The leaded stained glass windows used an uncommonly warm color palette, and eschewed iconography in favor of geometric patterns. Unfortunately, record of their designer and manufacturer has been lost.
At the very end, all that remained of Summerdale was the church's sign.
Today the lot at the corner of Farragut & Paulina where Summerdale once stood is home to a luxury housing tract.
Bianca Bova is a Chicago-based curator. She has worked with national and international contemporary arts organizations including Gunder Exhibitions, SiTE:LAB, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and EXPO Chicago.