EDGEWATER — Epworth Church is just one stage closer to starting to be a city landmark just as the historical church is established to be redeveloped — maybe into residences.

The city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted Thursday to give Epworth Church preliminary landmark status, which would give the church campus demolition protections soon after an before exertion to raze its buildings.

The 131-yr-old Epworth Church at 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. held its past church expert services in early Could just before a possible new operator applied for a demolition permit for the church campus’ two structures.

The developer pulled the demolition ask for soon after blowback from neighbors and a pledge from Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) to find landmark protections for the church.

Following the Thursday vote, Epworth Church is most likely to become a city landmark and its foreseeable future turns into a minimal much more distinct.

Credit score: Courtesy Stephanie Barto
Epworth United Methodist Church in Edgewater will host its very last church services May perhaps 15, 2022.

Right after decades of declining membership, possession of Epworth Church was not long ago transferred from the congregation to a group named Church Qualities Reimagined, a religious nonprofit that aids churches deal with their belongings, such as real estate.

The congregation requested Church Attributes Reimagined to provide the church campus, pastor Mike Jones, govt director of the group, reported at Thursday’s Landmark Fee meeting.

The team has come to an settlement with a developer who is interested in turning the residence into residences, Jones mentioned. A advancement program is staying place collectively for the thing to consider of Osterman and metropolis officers.

“Our motivation is to maintain the exterior of the setting up for the community,” Jones stated. “We’re hopeful we’ll be able to arrive to a remedy that preserves the exterior of the constructing … when being capable to make it economically feasible for a developer to do that. Our hope is all those aspects get worked out.”

An estate sale has been held at the church, with considerably of its inside becoming marketed and eliminated. A historic and uncommon organ is staying donated to an East Coastline church that is shelling out 1000’s to relocate it, Jones said.

It will consider extra than $2 million to fix structural issues with the church right before it can be converted into a further use, Jones reported.

Osterman said any improvement program that comes ahead will be completed in conformity with the city’s landmark protections. He claimed he will work to incorporate community obtainable house in the redevelopment ideas.

The alderman reported he is also operating to discover a new house in the ward for the homeless shelter that operates out of the church’s basement.

“Epworth has been an anchor in our local community,” Osterman claimed at the assembly. “It’s extremely vital we maintain the setting up preserved.”

Credit: Courtesy Stephanie Barto
The inside of Epworth United Methodist Church, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave.

Associated: 130-Calendar year-Outdated Edgewater Church Web hosting Last Expert services Sunday Immediately after Getting Offered, Leaving Building’s Upcoming Unclear

Epworth United Methodist Church shaped in 1888, when Edgewater only experienced a handful of hundred inhabitants.

The church setting up was done in 1891, with observed architect Frederick B. Townsend donating his services, according to the Edgewater Historical Modern society. In the 1930s, the creating was expanded and a neighborhood property added to accommodate a developing congregation.

The church has been added to the National Register of Historic Spots and was given “orange-rated” position less than the city’s historic study. That position prompted a 90-working day hold off and overview of the demolition allow, while it was eventually withdrawn before the timeline was up.

Neighbors and preservationists have sought to landmark the creating as its foreseeable future turned unsure.

Edgewater citizens and preservationists Carla Bruni assisted the church earn its federal historic status. The church campus, established back again from the street with its ornate limestone facade, delivers greenery and human scale in a dense aspect of Edgewater neighbored by high rises on close by Sheridan Road.

“It’s this oasis,” Bruni stated at the conference. “Epworth is this seriously hanging pause. … This can not ever be replicated.”

Epworth is deserving of landmark status since of its exemplary architect, the noteriety of its architects and its historical importance as an case in point of Edgewater’s earliest times, in accordance to the city’s landmark report.

The landmark designation still needs to be authorized by the Town Council’s committee on landmarks and by the total Metropolis Council.

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