Monday, September 26, 2016

St. Boniface saved from Wrecking Ball

With nary a minute to spare, St. Boniface Church in Noble Square was saved from demolition on Friday, thanks to a developer who finalized his acquisition of the century-old building and plans to add 39 residences and a music school on the northeast corner of Noble and Chestnut street.

"We closed! [on the sale]. Thanks to the support and dedication of the community, the city, and the team, the St. Boniface adaptive reuse project is now a reality," developer Michael Skoulsky said on Friday.
The price that Skoulsky paid for the church was not immediately available.
Last month, Skoulsky was given a city-ordered deadline of Friday to buy the church, which was also targeted by another developer who planned to demolish it and construct single-family homes. 

More here

Monday, December 07, 2009

St. George's Chapel

St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle looking Christmassy for a Knights of the Garter ceremony.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Springfield Cathedral Restoration Update

Aside from a few obvious botches, Conrad Schmitt has done their usual outstanding work.

The font in the middle looks silly (and silly is not good for a Cathedral). Chopping up the pews is a complete waste of money (and provides less seating). Is the communion rail still there? Anyone from Springfield?

The project isn't as bad as I had assumed, of course, given that there was approximately zero public input on anything but writing checks for the project, I think it is quite safe to assume that the lack of information was intentional.

Here's Immaculate Conception in all its glory from Mark Scot Abeln.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ralph Ellison Campus

This design site claims to be showing a rehabbed Archdiocese Building (funded by Bill and Melinda Gates, no less). Beautiful building, reasonable addendum. Can anyone tell us what Parish campus this was?

Site Here

Union Square

High Gothic First Baptist looks quite majestic in this photo essay on Chicago's Union Square Neighborhood.

Read more here

Also enjoy the William Gilman house from the same essay

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buy This Book: Celebrate St. Louis

Long term friend of the Society of St. Barbara, Mark Scott Abeln has done it. His fantastic photos of Churches and liturgical elements have made it into print, and I cannot wait to get a copy.

Click here to see some samples

Click here to purchase

Here is the Press Release




William B. Faherty SJ Teams with Photographer

Mark Abeln to Capture Regional Catholic Heritage

ST. LOUIS, MO—The history of the Catholic Church in St. Louis is dominated by strong personalities and architectural grandeur. In Catholic St. Louis: A Pictorial History, rich text and photography capture the people and places that have defined Catholicism in a historic, and historically Catholic, city. Renowned historian William Barnaby Faherty, S.J., delivers concise historical sketches of the integral people and the landmark houses of worship; and photographer Mark Scott Abeln captures nearly forty different area churches in majestic fashion. From the eighteenth-century Holy Family Church in Cahokia to the overwhelming Cathedral Basilica to the modern St. Anselm’s in Creve Coeur, St. Louis’s churches are significant, not to mention spectacular. This coffee-table book truly presents Catholic St. Louis in all its splendor.

Look for Catholic St. Louis in bookstores and online. Information is available upon request at or (314) 644-3400.

About the Authors

William Barnaby Faherty S.J. has written more than forty books, including dozens on St. Louis history and the novels Call of Pope Octavian and A Wall for San Sebastian. Mark Scott Abeln is a St. Louis photographer whose collection appears on

Friday, July 31, 2009

Prairie Avenue Bookstore on the Ropes

One of the worlds great bookstores is having some financial flow issues. Here is Blair Kamin on the finances of Prairie Avenue Bookshop.

It really is a great bookstore, and I am not just saying that because they sell the heck out of Heavenly City (and are currently sold out, so I link to Amazon). It is more like a library inside, with collectors editions and print items all over the place. Wilbert and Marilyn Hasbrouck are the proprietors, and are also the most knowledgeable people in Chicago on a variety of subjects, including architecture. Beth Elfrig is a store manager, and also is up to the minute on architectural publishing.

I stopped in today and spoke to both Bill and Beth, who were both busily selling large volumes of architecture books. Prices are slashed 50%. Stock up and save.

The array of titles is bewildering an a little picked over. I conjured up some possible titles that are not selling for my own amusement (and also for the amusement of the store employees).

1) Mediocre Carpentry in Mt. Prospect of the Late 1970's. The Aspinite Edition
2) Home Sewage Diversion: An Introduction to Treating Your Own Wastewater
3) Spanish Colonial Piemaker: The Buildings of Baker's Square
4) Structural Paper Maiche for Northern Climates
5) Ed Dart and the Boredom of Unitarian Worship

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More from Holy Name

Some Good Shots at the Tribune. (After 100+ years of campaigning against the Catholic Church, shouldn't the Tribune be banned from the Cathedral?)