A Place for All: A Community-Wide Campaign

A Place for All: A Community-Wide Campaign

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN (3-minute Video)


Campaign OVerview

Wicker Park Lutheran Church has been at the corner of Hoyne & LeMoyne since 1879. The current building dates from 1906 and presents limitations to how the community can gather. We are embarking on a $1.4 million+ campaign to address these limitations in the second phase of a $3.6 million project.

This phase will better (1) welcome diversity with an elevator and ADA-accessible, gender-neutral bathrooms, (2) preserve and restore our historic architecture, and (3) enhance community spaces. We’re well on our way to hitting the goal with multiple grants and numerous individual donors. Your support will ensure historic architecture and community engagement will continue for generations to come!

Why this campaign is Important

Read The Case Statement Here

Renderings (Possible Designs)

Click here for More Renderings

Our Progress

From 2022-2023 Wicker Park Lutheran Church had an economic impact exceeding $2 million dollars! That exceeds the national average for historic, urban congregations!

Independent Economic Halo Study (July 2023)

Your GiFT

We are grateful for your support of this important project! Please email Chelsea at giving@wickerparklutheran.org or call 773-276-0263 and we can schedule a time to discuss your gift.


Q:  What is the goal of the A Place for All campaign (phase two of the Comprehensive Building Plan)?

A: The campaign goal for phase 2 is between $1.5 million and $2.2 million. This project is three-pronged: (1) welcome diversity with an elevator and ADA-accessible, gender-neutral bathrooms, (2) preserve and restore our historic architecture including our Rose Window, and (3) enhance community spaces.

     Work will include an accessible at-grade entrance, a new ADA-compliant staircase, and an elevator. We will add an accessible main floor restroom and create family-friendly, all-gender, private restrooms on the lower-level. Restoration of the lower-level windows and our beautiful Rose Window paired with waterproofing the basement and reworking our sewer will better seal the building’s envelope to create more efficient community spaces and preserve our historic building. Details of the design can be found below in the details.

Q:  Are Gifts Tax-Deductible?

A: Yes! You also may be able to talk to your tax specialist/ accountant to further maximize your tax benefits using a donor-advised fund (DAF).

Q:  is there a way to give That Will Support only the Community Efforts and not the religious Aspect?

A: Yes! There is a separate non-profit called Wicker Park Lutheran Building Friends (WPLBF) that is non-religious and supports the efforts of restoring the building as well as strengthening the community center services offered to the community. WPLBF is supporting this campaign in its efforts to create community space that will not solely be used used for religious purposes. You can make a tax-deductible gift through their website or take advantage of employer matched giving as well!

Q:  How do I donate?

A: We have trained congregation members to ask members of the congregation for a gift. Each potential gift “ask” will be made carefully and with consideration for each person’s circumstances. Each member will be contacted by another member of the congregation to discuss a gift. If you’re interested in giving as soon as possible, please email giving@wickerparklutheran.org or call 773-276-0263 and we can schedule a time to meet as soon as possible.

Q:  If I make a pledge now, how long can I spread out my gift?

A: Timing for donations can be set up at your discretion. We will be collecting funds pledged through 2027. We are also asking for a “deposit” at the beginning of the campaign to minimize interest paid on loans during the campaign. Gift solicitors will provide you with a pledge form to complete and return to the church.

Q: How many grants have we received so far?

A. We received a $250,000 Chicago Adopt-A-Landmark grant for the restoration of the Rose Window and the lower-level windows in 2024. The Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA awarded us a $20,000 grant from the Fund for Mission in 2023. We were granted a $100,000 matching grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2022. In total, we’ve received over $370,000 in grants and continue to apply for additional funding to support this important project.

Q: WhEn Will the Renovations Begin?

A: Based on our current fundraising and architectural/engineering schedule, we anticipate being able to begin work in late 2024 on the Rose Window restoration followed by interior work beginning in early 2025. As of late June, we have completed the schematic and design/development phases of the comprehensive building plan and are beginning work on permit documents. The time to get a permit from the city will be out of our control, but we plan to be ready to set a start date as soon as the permits are issued.

Q: How will Church activities and space us groups be impacted?

WPLC is committed to minimizing impacts on church activities and space use groups. Worship services will continue to be held in the Sanctuary with little impact. We will ensure that our space use groups have a space to meet and will work with our general contractor to appropriately phase out the work. While it would be more efficient and cost-effective to shutdown the building for 6-12 months while the work is completed, we are committed to maintain the spiritual and social hub for Wicker Park even if that takes a bit longer and costs more money.

Q: What Order will you complete the work?

This is still to be determined based on the scope of work we are able to fund. However, it is likely that the renovations will begin with the restoration of the Rose Window on the Hoyne Ave. facade in late 2024. In early 2025, we will work to finish the drain tile installation on the north and east sides of the building along with the lower-level window replacement. Then, we will begin work at the ADA entrance with the elevator and (pending funding) renovate the restrooms.

Q: What if we exceed our goals or don’t raise enough?

A: The Steering Committee will be closely monitoring our progress throughout the campaign. If we are short of our goal, then we may not be able to accomplish all the work we’ve set out to do. If we exceed our goals, we will complete more of the Comprehensive Building Plan! 

Q:  What will happen during this phase of the campaign?

A: Wicker Park Lutheran has contracted with Partners for Sacred Places (Partners) to help us launch A Place for All capital campaign, which will focus on accessibility, historic preservation, and enhancing community spaces. Partners has already assisted us by conducting a feasibility study, awarding WPLC with a $100,000 National Fund for Sacred Places grant, and conducted an Economic Halo Effect of Sacred Places SM study (read the study). Partners will also be providing us support by securing potential internal and external gifts including additional funders to donate to the campaign, providing communication material support, and coordinating many aspects of the capital campaign with the steering committee and task forces.

Q:  Who is leading the campaign?

A: The Steering Committee is led by co-chairs Nora Militz, Caroline Magnesen and Jonathan Meyer along with the Rev. Jason Glombicki and coordination by Partners for Sacred Places. Steering Committee members include Lindsay Bolton, Kane Mason, Kirsten Muszynski, Tammi Franke, and Alison Gorsuch who oversee the various task forces that support the community-wide campaign.

Q:  Why is it important to have 100% participation from the congregation in a capital campaign?

A: Every gift is important! When outside funders and donors see that a congregation has strong internal support, it indicates a well-run campaign where everyone is working together. Outside funders find it more compelling to donate when they see that kind of unity and enthusiasm. 

Q: Is there anything else that I should know that is important to share?

A: Yes! Our annual economic impact is over $2 million. This is a significant contribution to Wicker Park and city far beyond the annual operating budget. Rad more about our economic impact here.

Project Details

Documents & Details

As a reminder, these drawings are from the Schematic Design phase and are subject to change as we move forward in finalizing the design.

Please note: The building envelope will remain unchanged. There will not be any structural additions to the building. Minor modifications may be made to entrance sizes improve A.D.A. accessibility. All work will comply with the best practices for historic development as indicated by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the treatment of historic properties along with all historic preservation standards and requirements in Chicago and the Wicker Park historic district.