Malawian Church By SA Architects Inspires Architecture For Change

Malawian Church By SA Architects Inspires Architecture For Change

When the first Emmanuel Episcopal Church burned down in 1924, officials of the congregation were advised to replace it with a small structure befitting a small, midwestern village.

But the congregation had other ideas.

"They rejected a modest church and instead chose to build a church on a cathedral-like scale," said Katherine Clark, parishioner and church historian.

Almost a century later, the Late Gothic Revival structure at 203 S. Kensington, built between 1924 and 1926, has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

The honor culminates three years of research and petitions to both the state of Illinois and the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service, Clark said.

The church was recognized for the quality and integrity of its architecture and the artistic quality of its stained-glass windows, Clark said. Aside from minor updates and the interior decorations, especially the stained glass windows installed over a 22-year period between 1951 and 1973, the building is essentially the same as it was at its 1926 dedication.

The 58-foot high structure sits at the geographic center of the 600 acres La Grange founder Franklin D. Cossitt acquired and designated as the original boundaries of the village, according to the La Grange Area Historical Society.