Monday, September 19, 2011

anyone wanna buy a .....

church??

Yep, a church.  A Catholic church.  In Chicago. 

Really...


While looking for some photos of our family's history, I asked my sister Kathy (well, I asked my sister Gerri first- but she said to ask Kathy...) if she remembered the name of the church we used to go to when in Chicago (I was about 5-ish so I don't remember much..but apparently more than some of us ..)

 

She told me "St. Lawrence, of course"..

Of course.  

Right..Yeah, that's it...

But sadly, when I found some photos of the old place {it was also school for my older siblings}I saw that the building had been closed in 1999 and was for sale.

And I was sad..sad for the history and the memories associated with that building as well as sad for the neighborhood ..to loose such a magnificent landmark.



The stained glass windows are boarded up and the weeds are prevalent..




A little piece of history..gone.  I think the photos of the playground are the most haunting..and sad.


This is  was  the rectory..

(that's not me..or my sister Kathy..or the ever-forgetful Gerri..just so you know..)


While looking for other sites near the church, like where we lived, we can see some of the places like a corner store that was there and still appears to be open - imagine that!  Great..

And I do remember stuff from then..I was about 5and we used to go to the market with Mother..and I remember sitting on the "stoop" and watching the fireflies..



I remember walking to the ""L" with her {the elevated trains to the city}  and I was never sure if I had really remembered it as it really was..but after seeing the Google shot of the neighborhood, I realized  I had.  I see the "L" tracks not far from our home.

We lived in a second story apartment with the owners of the house on the main level.  

They has a maid.

A maid!  Her name was Thelma and she had only a partial left arm - it was gone just below the elbow.  I never had the nerve to ask what happened, but I remember being amazed at how she held a plate in her left arm-stump-thingie  and towel dried it.  {I also remember she had a little wart or skin tag on the stump ..weird thing to remember, huh?}

She was a black woman and wore a uniform (much like in The Help) and I really really liked her.   The family who employed her were named McCarthy..and they had 2 daughters Pat & Mike (Patricia & Mickolene) McCarthy. (not sure of the spelling of Mike's name)

Anyway, thanks to Google Earth, we can all walk through the neighborhoods of our youth..and say good-bye to the scary old wonderful churches and schools we knew so well...

Have a wonderful fall Tuesday and think about the buildings that shaped.. ..you!

-me

19 comments:

Vee said...

Oh that would be a huge commitment, but couldn't you see a theater group or even a Church buying that wonderful old building filled with a deep well to toss money in and lots of memories.

I actually did want to buy the Methodist church in my hometown. It closed and I thought that it would make a wonderful tea house. I fancied live music and delicious desserts and lots of tea and coffee. I doubt that there would be any way to make a go of it, but I can dream.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Hard to imagine a Catholic church closing its doors. I saw all my old stomping grounds when we went to Chicago last October. Google earth is so cool!

Laurie said...

How sad and eerie to see this church boarded up. So much history behind those doors, gone. It would be so awesome to walk through the buildings one more time, and remember the times you had there. What precious memories though, Colleen, thanks for sharing them with us.

lifeinredshoes said...

Wowsa, you have some memory! It's funny what sticks in a childs mind. I often wonder what is sticking with The Little Loves, hopes it's good :)

Vicki/Jake said...

Wow, awesome memories Colleen. Kinda grabs the heart, huh...

I know, a bunch of us blog ladies can go together and buy it, then fix it up so we'll all have a fun silly place to retire and have bloggy rememberies:) Vee isn't the only dreamer:)

wendy said...

What an awesome post. I drove thru my neighborhood the other day. a lot has changed and schools have closed, it is a sad sorta feeling, but I have a lot of nice memories.

just call me jo said...

None of my childhood bldgs are still standing I don't think. And my memory is so poor, I couldn't remember anything anyway. A friend of mine bought and lived in an old school for a while. It's difficult to rehad them without mucho dinero.

Dapoppins said...

I was on this photo site once that had beautiful pictures of empty Chicago schools and hotels...I hope that old church is a historic site so it can't be torn down. Here in my state, there is a company that often turns these old places into bars, restaurants and hotels, even the old churches. McMinimans...or somethng er other. Lots of Ms, anyway.

Dapoppins said...

did my comment save?

Pearl said...

Hopefully a new Church will open and spring forward to being new again. Cool to look into our memories for sure. Have a fun week! Pearl

Karen said...

You could probably buy it....another blog friend I know just bought himself a fire truck.

Pen Pen said...

Sweet memories. Wouldn't it be awesome if someone bought it and restored it into apartments? Upscale and historical! What a cool place it would be to live!

Joan J said...

I come from a little town in New Hampshire, and recently a FaceBook group opened up called "I grew up in Bradford, NH and I remember when..." and wow - what great memories we've been sharing. Playmates from 30 years ago talking about the families, buildings, and backwoods of that little town. It's wonderful revisiting our memories!

PS I've always wanted to buy a Church (or restaurant) for a home!

susan said...

It's a shame so many beautiful old buildings end up on the auction block. Most of the buildings that shaped me have been torn down. Turned into parking lots and other "useful" things. Hopefully, some preservationist will come along and save it from morphing into a Home Depot.

Garden of Egan said...

That is a beauiful church. I say "BUY!"

If the playgound could speak what would it say?

Jillian said...

How did you know that I was looking for a church to buy Colleen? You are the best ;)

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

What a great post, a shame about the church, you would think that something that historical could be put to use.

I love your memories, and the part about the maid with only one arm

donkey and the carrot said...

Hello Colleen! You are soooo sweet!!!! So glad we found eachother!!! Kisses and hugs, Foivi ;)

Lucy aka Roeann said...

I'd love that old church! Fascinating. I'm so behind in catching up on blogs. I was out of my house and busy all last week. Crazy.