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Congregational Church, Steger, IL

April 18, 2018

I cannot quite recall how I found this church. Might have been a postcard, but if it was I can no longer locate the card. At any rate our roving reporter Richard Kenyon drove past it a few years ago and took some photos. The building remained a mystery for a few years.

This was built as a Congregational church (UCC) but is now an evangelical-pentecostal congregation that hasn’t responded to questions about their building. Another source confirms that the architect was none other than Emery Stanford Hall, Chicago architect and first secretary of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Anyone in the licensing process will know NCARB. Views from other directions and from the air don’t help understanding its shape: From Steger Boulevard, this is clearly an Akron Sunday school, but there is no auditorium. I had thought this could have been a staged project, with the S.S. built first, to be followed by the auditorium. But the detailing on the opposite side (from this view) has a permanent look about it. So I’m not sure. At any rate it is interesting.

The church website does include a couple interior views of interest.

Hall’s other projects—those that I know—are of a generally Arts & Crafts character, which seems to be true here as well: shaggy, shale-cut brick, interesting brick coursing, low arches, curious bracketed roofs. I like it, completed or not.

Just as a curious footnote: Emery Stanford Hall’s grand-daughter is none other than Raquel Welch. I kid you not.

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