Before and After: Immaculate Conception in South Chicago

Today I wished to share another "before and after," this time coming from the south side of Chicago. The church in question is Immaculate Conception Church and the renovation was executed by Daprato-Rigali Studios who are also located in Chicago and whom we featured here last November.

The renovation at Immaculate Conception was focused on the sanctuary and involved the removal of the freestanding altar that would have likely been installed sometime around the post-conciliar period and its corresponding "backdrop." In its place, a new reredos was erected, complete with tabernacle and before it, a freestanding altar. Additional, matching sanctuary furnishings were likewise created by Daprato-Rigali Studios.

Here is a better look at the before and after situation:



In addition to the new high altar and reredos, two side altar-style shrines were also installed -- quite likely where side altars would have been originally -- and the statue of Our Lady was restored to her original place within the central niche of the reredos.

As always, we aim to bring our readers a view of the historical church as it originally was and we are pleased to be able to offer that once again in this particular instance:

Many will understandably (and justly) lament the original sacred art that was lost here, but while that loss might still be painful, what remains the case is that these recent renovations have begun the process of reclaiming something closer to the original artistic vision of the parish.

With time and resources, who knows what else might be restored and recovered here in the future.

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