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This church had been on my bucket list for a while and I finally got access, granted it happened last year. I don't know a lot of the history of the church, other than the congregation was founded by German immigrats in the 1800s. The origional church burned in the Chicago fire and a new one was constructed in 1904. In the 1910s Polish immigrants moved in and the German congregation declined in membership. It bounced back and years later in the 50s a large Puerto Rican population came in and spanish masses were offered for the first time. Membership throughout the 60s and 70s etc kept declining and in 1990 the church officially closed. The rectory, convent and school were all torn down. As for the chruch a development company owns it and want's to turn it into luxury condos and a music school.
Dawn broke on my first full day in Chicago and the weather was absolutely biblical. Rain lashing down across most of the city in a torrent. Not good for exploring, or doing anything in really. A couple of my exploring friends had travelled across from Buffalo in upstate New York to meet me for the first weekend, and there is a running joke between me and them that whenever I meet up with them, the weather is absolutely awful. That day did nothing to dispel the joke, so we settled in for some breakfast near our first rooftop target. Luckily the weather cleared up, and the sun came out, so we cracked on. The first rooftop is a 38-storey mixed use tower, very much occupied and in use which creates the challenge of making your way past the security/receptionist stations without looking too suspect, carrying bags and tripods LOL. I don't normally do rooftops or high things, you can normally find me poking around factories and stuff so this was a pretty new experience for me. But an enjoyable one no less. Beneath the glass dome was the building's swimming pool, with one or two people in it at the time At the end of the day after our various misadventures elsewhere, we decided to take in the sunset on another rooftop. A much taller one this time, standing at 60 storeys tall. The view was incredible. After that, we went to get some well deserved food and made preparations for the next day Thanks for looking.
I will preface this by saying this place is ruined, and normally I wouldn't go all the way over to America for something as ruined. However the one deciding factor for me was outside - perfectly framed between the two huge grain elevators/silos is a stunning view of the downtown Chicago skyline. As for the rest of the site, it's actually quite photogenic in a ruined way. There used to be a linking bridge between the silos but this was blown up for a stunt in, I believe, the last Transformers film. The bases of the silos were also painted black for that, but of course it has now been covered in graffiti. Lots, and lots, of graffiti. You can get to the tops of the silos but it requires some very sketchy rope climbs which I wanted no part in. It was here I also had my first run-in with the American police whilst exploring. Our group of seven were just about to finish up and we were aiming to get a group shot of us with the view of the skyline in the background. This site is so easy to get into you can literally drive your car into it, and as we were getting the shot ready who should turn up but a police SUV. They were unamused by our presence and the officer said that they had already arrested a couple of people on site for trespassing just then (we weren't alone there were a few groups on site). So we made our apologies and went to leave. The officers followed us back to the non-existant gate in their SUV and that would have been that. However, remember how I said you could literally drive into the site? Well....we did. We had parked our two cars inside an old warehouse at the edge of the site, so the two drivers had to then explain to the officers why they were heading off a different way. We could see the officer visibly shake his head and we imagined he was thinking 'what a load of morons' and tutting to himself. Anyway they went to get their cars, and we waited outside the gate for them, and all was good. Moral of the story, when in America, try not to park inside the site you are exploring, however easy it is to do so. I'm the one sat down. Because I didn't want to fall out of a second floor window on my first day LOL. More here https://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/albums/72157659173256470