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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Daley to chair Pilgrim Baptist Church fundraising effort

Good news on the rebuilding of a historic black church on the south side. I was covering this news back when it happened in January 2006. Very sad story but it looks like the church is coming back. And Mayor Daley is going to be apart of these efforts. The quotes are from

The old walls of Pilgrim Baptist, 33rd and South Indiana Avenue, are all that's left standing. They are buttressed with steel to keep them from falling. But, across the street, Mayor Daley lent his support to church leaders determined to bring Pilgrim Baptist back, saying he will help them raise private money.

"Most importantly, in rebuilding a church, they're really rebuilding the souls of another generation -- and, of course, never forgetting the past," the mayor said.
"The history of Pilgrim Baptist Church is so rich. It's rich because so many lives have been changed, transformed, because of where God has placed us to be," said Rev. Keith Gordon, Pilgrim Baptist Church pastor.
Mayor Daley says he will chair the fundraising effort. The Pritzker Family Foundation is offering half-a-million dollars in matching funds.
What about the original building though and the future plans for what's left...

It was January 6, 2006 that the historic church was destroyed by fire, a fire started by workers on the roof. As it burned, we learned of Pilgrim's history: Thomas Dorsey's famous gospel choir sang here, the building was designed by Chicago architects Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, and it was originally built as a synagogue in the late 1800s.
The design of the new church has not yet been decided, but it will retain what's left of Sullivan and Adler's original.

"We know we're going to keep the walls of the building, but what we do inside the building and outside is going to be based on the input that we get from the church and also based on the type of fundraising that will be done," said Frank Christopher Lee, architect.

The total amount of money needed is vague, because the church needs to decide what to put inside, but it will be in the millions.
Fire rages at Pilgrim Baptist Church...
Blaze destroys historic church
Pilgrim Baptist Church to get a grant...

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