Adaptive Reuse Approved For All Saints St. Anthony Church At 518 W 28th Place In Bridgeport

Interior of All Saints St. Anthony Church by Mike Baker via Flickr

The Chicago City Council has approved the adaptive reuse of the All Saints St. Anthony Church at 518 W 28th Place in Bridgeport. Located on the corner with S Wallace Street, the multi-building complex will see new life as a child and adult daycare facility led by developer T2 Opportunity Fund LLC with Vari Architects LTD serving as the designers of the new interior spaces.

St. Anthony’s Church via Google Maps

The church was originally built to serve the area’s German population in 1915, designed by Henry J. Schlacks who worked on other churches on the south and west side. The Romanesque style building is well known for its mosaic of the vision of St. Anthony over the entrance and a stained-glass window by Bavarian artist Franz Xaver Zettler. After closing in 2019, it was scheduled for demolition before being nominated for landmark status by Preservation Chicago in 2021. Now we know the historical four-building campus will be saved and restored.

Proposed site plan of All Saints St Anthony Church restoration by Vari Architects

The existing church, rectory, school buildings will be receiving structural and facade repairs, while the rear convent structure is being demolished. The church and rectory will become a new adult-daycare facility, joining a handful of others throughout the city and roughly 4,600 others in the nation in 2016 serving over 286,000 elders. Adult daycares allow caregivers and families to take a break while the adults can socialize and participate in various activities, with studies showing that those in similar programs have a higher quality of life per AARP.

Proposed floor plans of church building – adults daycare by Vari Architects

The church will see new walls added creating a library, reception, and office in the existing front entrance area, five activity rooms and a consultation room will be added in the linear nave, the crossing and transepts will become a multi-purpose space, and the choir/altar will be an exercise space with restrooms. The rear rectory building will be transformed into offices and a kitchen, details on how the ornate interior will be altered for these renovations are currently unknown.

Proposed floor plans of school building – children’s daycare by Vari Architects

The existing school building will become a children’s daycare facility with some of the already partitioned spaces remaining the same, a small addition will be built with a new exit stair and expanded classroom space. The first floor will feature a reception space, and an isolation room, with 14 classrooms spread across the three floors. The convent will be demolished for a new 21-vehicle parking lot with two-new curb cuts on S Normal Avenue.

Proposed elevations of All Saints St Anthony Church restoration by Vari Architects

The approval includes the rezoning of the lot from M1-1 Limited Manufacturing/Business Park District to C1-5 Neighborhood commercial District, allowing the 1.09-acre site to proceed with work on the existing 37,925 square feet of space. Many old churches that once served thousands across the city are rapidly deteriorating, with a few being converted to homes or other used, the approval of the reuse of All Saints St. Anthony is a win for the city’s architectural legacy.

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12 Comments on "Adaptive Reuse Approved For All Saints St. Anthony Church At 518 W 28th Place In Bridgeport"

  1. this is amazing to see

  2. William Kiaune | June 25, 2022 at 7:22 am | Reply

    How fantastic. Great news. The old neighborhood needs Aii Saints-St Anthony Church.

  3. I’m ecstatic the city will save All Saints / St. Anthony’s, a great gift to the community.
    My parents raised their children in this
    community. We received an educational
    foundation from this school, St. Anthony’s.
    Just a wonderful save for Bridgeport &
    Chicago!! Thank you!!!

  4. What is going to happen to the altars, statues, and other appointments? And will the new interior walls compliment the existing architecture?

  5. Maybe this is a beginning for many Catholic Churches in the city of Chicago. Still wondering what is in store for St. Martin Church in Englewood. That was the only pure gothic church in Chicago and suburbs.

  6. Adult Day Care is a wonderful addition for this area.

  7. Awesome news

  8. Doreen Chiarelli | February 4, 2023 at 10:06 pm | Reply

    This is the best news ever, it was heartbreaking to think that this Beautiful Church would be destroyed!! I knew God would never let that happen. Our family has been involved in the school and church for our whole lives! Thank You Jesus ❤️

  9. Carol Sheehan Collins | February 11, 2023 at 10:26 pm | Reply

    So glad to hear that St. Anthony’s will continue to make an impact in the community. A few generations of my family went to that school, including myself. We learned life-long skills at an early age. May future generations learn from this history.


  10. Robert Griffith | November 6, 2023 at 5:38 am | Reply

    I attended the school from 1981 (Kindergarten) until 6th Grade in 1986. I remember standing in line outside the front doors When I was 5 years old while the teacher (Mrs Fasco) was walking down the line asking us one by one what our names were.

    I moved out of the usa 20 years ago and have yet to return. I have lived in Japan, Brazil, Australia, and Italy. However when I visualize what a school is suppose to look like my mind takes me back to those old hallways in Saint Anthony’s. LOL!!!!

    A corny story I know. But I am grateful that the place is being restored. Always remember……old buildings were not always quiet abandoned places. Old buildings were once the center of peoples life. People laughed, people made friends, etc in those old places.

  11. It is great to see it saved, but the proposed really bad awning on the front elevation covers up the mosaic, and the stained glass has already been removed and replaced with really cheap looking clear glass windows. I hope the beautiful stained glass was not just thrown away. Still, better than the wrecking ball, and best wishes to those who are converting and repairing it.

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