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Normal Park Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL

September 5, 2016

For some time I believed that my hometown Chicago was deficient in Akron-Auditorium churches. It seems I’ve just been traveling in the wrong neighborhoods.


The South Side neighborhood called Normal Park was served by a short branch of the “L” system from 1907 to about 1954, closed as a cost cutting measure because of limited ridership. I vaguely recall the abandoned track where it joined the Englewood main line. But it was not a part of Chicago that I had visited on foot; if I had, this wonderful Presbyterian church would have been an early entry in the database. Though it lacks the lantern characteristic of Brown & Davis designs, I’ll tentatively attribute it to that firm, which once had a branch office in Chicago with William R. Brown in charge.

The main entry of Normal Park Presbyterian Church  Avenue faces west onto Yale and there is a prominent octagonal element at the corner with 71st Street. Much farther to the left there is a protrusion which is likely the Sunday School component. The building is now the home of Greater Salem Baptist Church.

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