Comprehensive Building Plan

Comprehensive Building Plan

Once-in-a-Generation Building Updates

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 $3 million+, multi-phase update that will include making the building ADA accessible, creating more sub-dividable community space, adding offices, restoring our historic windows, and upgrading our kitchen. We undertake this work with a commitment to preserve our building as a cornerstone in the Wicker Park historic district. Ultimately, all of this work is to further deepen our work as a spiritual and social resource in the community for the next 115 years!

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Note: We do NOT have finalized plans or a set date for the renovations to begin at this time.

Contents

Note: Most recent updates from January 31, 2024 are highlighted.

TIMELINE & PROGRESS

  • Phase 1 (Growing “the Wicker Park Gathering Garden)Completed!
  • Comprehensive Building Plan Completed!
  • Fundraising Feasibility StudyCompleted! (click here to read the report)
  • Phase 2 A Place for All
    • Finalize Scope and General Planning – Wrapping up (Read about the process for the Capital Campaign here.)
      • Economic Halo (Impact) Study – Completed! (Read the study here.)
      • Gathering needed Task Forces – Completed!
      • Case Statement Development – Completed!
      • Design Development Phase (architectural drawings) – In Process
    • Fundraising (likely early-/mid-2024)
      • Congregation Town Hall/Kick-Off – Sunday, February 18 at 11:15 a.m.
      • Community Town Hall/ Kickoff – May 18, 2024
      • Grant Submissions – ongoing
      • Construction (likely late-2024/early-2025)
  • Wicker Park Lutheran Building Friends (potential independent 501c3)
    • Articles of Incorporation – Completed and approved!
    • Bylaws – Completed!
    • Creating Agreement between WPLBF and WPLC – In Process
    • Approved by the Attorney General
    • 501c3 Approval

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WE’ve Received MUltiple GrantS!

We are grateful to our growing list of partners who are supporting our vision to make these updates become a reality!

  • Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development has endorsed the importance of our historic building by awarding WPLC with a $250,000 grant to help restore our original stained glass Rose Window and lower-level windows. This affirms that our building is an anchor in the Wicker Park Historic District and vital to preserving the historic character within Chicago.
  • A $100,000 matching grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places, a program of Partners for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We are the first organization on Chicago’s northside to received this prestigious grant and the seal of approval that our structure is historically significant to the architecture and community of Wicker Park.
  • A $20,000 grant from the Fund for Mission of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This grant is awarded to congregations who, in partnership with other organizations, work to extend the reach of their mission through the intersection of proclamation, service, and justice.

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)

Why Support This Effort?

  • Bring additional economic growth and engagement to our community. An independent research study revealed that between June 2022 and May 2023 we had a total economic impact of $2,005,354.99! With these expanded offerings our economic impact will likely far exceed $2 million annually! (Read the study here.)
  • It’s more than a church, it’s a community hub of activity! Did you know that urban historic churches on average are used 89% of the time for non-religious purposes? (Source)
  • Support historic architecture and community development within Chicago
  • Partner with an organization that gives back over 40% of it’s budget to local and global community service efforts!
  • Expand low-cost space available for community groups related to addiction recovery, fine arts, physical/mental health, hunger alleviation, and advocacy. In 2022 alone we offered 4,000+ hours, which equates to 2/3 of the occupied time being used by outside groups. We’re turning away numerous groups each year due to lack of space and not being ADA accessible.
  • Be a part of the 144 year tradition of this welcoming congregation committed to responding to injustice and supporting the Wicker Park Community.
  • Read our Annual Report for more information on your impact.

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Fall 2023 Update & FeedBack MeetingS

The Comprehensive Building Plan Taskforce completed the Schematic Design process moving us closer to making the building renovations a reality! Below are recordings from the meetings held to discuss the project and receive feedback.

Community Conversation Recording/ InformatioN (Nov 9)

Congregation Conversation Recording/ Information (Oct 29)

Meeting Documents & FeedBack Link

As a reminder, these drawings 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.

Keep Up-To-Date with Our Progress

Wicker Park Lutheran Church is an icon in the neighborhood and a significant piece of architecture in Chicagoland. If you want to keep updated on the progress of our project, please complete the form below.

Click here to Receive Occasional Updates