Shrine of Christ the King



Due to the devastating fire in October 2015, the Archdiocese of Chicago has decided that the Shrine structure is unsafe and must be wholly demolished. The investigating engineers developed three solutions for dealing with the structure; the last and most desperate of which was a complete demolition. This is a sad moment for cultural identity in Woodlawn and greater Chicago and we protest this unjust decision.

Our project was an interior restoration and beautification of the existing 1927 church by Henry Schlacks located near the University of Chicago. Schlacks was the pre-eminent Catholic church architect of Chicago in the early 20th century and a close friend of Cardinal Mundelein. His design for the Shrine of Christ the King (originally called St. Clara) is a tour-de-force of Roman classicism on the exterior. Our designs for the interior are meant to continue this tradition with reference to the great churches of Rome.

The Shrine is home to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a priestly institute founded in 1990 and now serving dioceses around the world. The charism of the Institute is centered around the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales and the beauty of the classical Roman rite of the Mass. The Institute was invited by Cardinal George of Chicago to restore this church and make it a center of spiritual activity for the Institute and this reviving neighborhood on the south side.