A Photographic Tour of Overlooked Chicago Architecture

In Part 1 of this post, we gave some background on the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House 2012 special event and some big pictures of the beautiful architecture we saw. Here are some images from more buildings we visited as a sort of tour via pictures of overlooked Chicago architecture.


2875 W. Cermak Rd.

This 1917 movie house, located in Little Village, became a nightclub in the 1980’s, thus the amazing neon you’ll see pictured below. It underwent a major restoration in the 1990’s so that now it is used for concerts and special events like weddings and quinceanera celebrations.

Lighting Fixture Apollo Theater Chicago overlooked chicago architecture
Cool lighting fixtures.
Chicago Apollo Historic Movie Theater overlooked chicago architecture
An artifact from its cinema days.


Open House Chicago 2012 Apollo Theater overlooked chicago architecture
It’s hard to see, but here are other visitors during Open House Chicago viewing the projection room. Old projectors and even films still here.
Apollo Theater Chicago Architectural Tour overlooked chicago architecture
Glowing neon from the post-disco days as an ’80s nightclub.


La Villita Community Church

2300 S. Millard Ave.

Chicago-Masonic-Temple-Architecture LIttle Village overlooked chicago architecture
Was it a bank building? A school? Nope. A Masonic Temple. The exterior of this grand building, right in the middle of a neighborhood.
Architecture Chicago Masonic Temple Little Village overlooked chicago architecture
LMT = Lawndale Masonic Temple

This church was formerly the Masonic Temple of Lawndale. I saw clues that it might be a “Kingdom Temple” for Jehovah’s Witnesses, but don’t quote me on that.

Masonic Symbol Floor of Building in Chicago overlooked chicago architectureI had to move aside a rug to find this masonic symbol in the tiles by a side entrance. “G” was apparently for “God” and “geometry.” Interestingly the main entrance was having the tiles completely redone when we stopped by.

Greater Zion MB Church

2255 S. Millard Ave.

Built in 1891 this grand structure was originally a Methodist church. It’s kiddy corner to the old Masonic Temple actually.

Church Architecture of Chicago Tour overlooked chicago architecture
It looks more like an old mansion than a church with its Victorian-style turret and Romanesque-style, rusticated stone exterior.
Methodist Church 1891 LIttle Village Chicago overlooked chicago architecture
Most striking of all is the timber ceiling. Never quite seen anything like it!

Stay tuned for more explorations of Chicago architecture via the blog, or via our Interior Architectural Tours. Thanks for reading!

— Amanda Scotese, Executive Director


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