Stone Temple Baptist Church to Be Considered for Landmarks Honor

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

A North Lawndale church that hosted frequent sermons by Dr. Martin Luther King will be considered for designation as an official Chicago landmark, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Stone Temple Baptist Church has been a community icon in North Lawndale for decades, providing a forum for Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision for equitable housing in Chicago during the civil rights era, and a place of worship for community residents since the 1920s,” Mayor Emanuel said. “It’s entirely appropriate that the Landmarks Commission should consider honoring its important role in the community with a Landmark designation.”

The Landmarks Commission will consider a preliminary recommendation for Landmark status at its meeting on Feb. 4, 2016. Located at 3620 W. Douglas Blvd., the monumental brick and stone edifice was built in 1926 as a synagogue for Romanian Jews who came to the U.S. to escape state-sanctioned anti-Semitism in the Kingdom of Romania. In 1954 the synagogue was bought by an African-American congregation who moved their Baptist church from the South Side into the former synagogue under the leadership of Reverend J. M. Stone. As a landmark, the church would be officially recognized as one of Chicago’s most historically significant buildings and be protected from significant alteration and demolition.

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