The Richard H. Driehaus Museum explores the art, architecture, and design of the late 19th century to the present. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883. Vibrant educational and cultural programs, as well as exhibitions, place the Gilded Age in context and illuminate the history, culture and urban fabric of Chicago. Photo by Alexander Vertikoff, 2014.
The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour (COS) was originally founded as Chapel of Our Saviour on April 21, 1867. It was originally located at Belden Avenue and Hurlbut Street (now Cleveland Avenue), however the Chapel was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The cornerstone of the current church building was laid in 1888 and the first service was held on Easter Day, 1889. Clinton Warren was the architect of the church, which cost $23,776 to construct. Warren is also known for the famous Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago.
The middle memorial window of Christ Blessing the Little Child on the East side of the nave was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The other windows of the church were designed by the Chicago Stained Glass Company and include memorial windows depicting the Ascension, Moses Delivering the Ten Commandments, and Mary the Mother of Jesus.
The geometric patterned windows were originally intended to be “temporary” until individual windows could be sponsored such as the memorial windows. Due to a major recession followed by the Great Depression, future sponsored windows never materialized, however the parish came to cherish the geometric windows as much as the memorial windows to this day.
Other notable features of the church interior include the great scissor beams above the nave of the church, which allowed the space to be as wide as it is without requiring additional support columns. The walls of the nave, which are clad in (fireproof) terra cotta tiles, are designed by Louis Sullivan and manufactured by Northwestern Terra Cotta Works using clay from Indiana. “John” the church bell can be heard in the bell tower and is believed to be the oldest church bell in Chicago. Cast in England during the reign of Elizabeth I (c. 1579-1597), this bell was installed at Church of Our Saviour in 1976. John weighs 616 pounds and was named after John Dien who cast the bell.
Free, Limited hours: Mondays 10:30 am-5 pm, Wednesdays-Fridays 10:30–5pm, Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, call 773.549.3832 to arrange private tours.
Cover photo credit: Photo courtesy of Church of Our Saviour