WEST LOOP — After shutting its doors eight years ago, the Church of the Epiphany will come alive again as a wedding venue and entertainment space when it reopens this winter.
Developer David Chase and his wife Kimberly Rachal worked to convert the former church and adjacent property at 201 S. Ashland Ave. into a venue that could host an assortment of events including weddings, live performances, art exhibitions, galas and private events.
The result is Epiphany Center for the Arts, a 42,000-square-foot property that includes three venues (Epiphany Hall, The Sanctuary, The Catacombs), a cafe and a courtyard.
“After three years of restoring and renovating the property, we are excited to finally see our vision for Epiphany come to life,” Chase said, calling the former church a “one-of-a-kind” venue.
Already, acts such as the Flat Cats, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Pat Malinger and Linda Solotaire are lined up to perform in Epiphany Hall and The Sanctuary.
Earlier this year, the project sparked concerns from neighbors who worried the venue would disrupt the quiet Jackson Boulevard Historic District.
The Church of the Epiphany was landmarked by the city in the mid-1990s and was closed in 2011 due to a dwindling congregation. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
According to Preservation Chicago, the church was built in 1885, with additions built in 1895, and many early members of the church came from Boston. Designed by architects Edward Burling and Francis Whitehouse, it is considered an “excellent early example” of Richardsonian Romanesque Revival architecture in Chicago.
The church held the 1893 funeral of assassinated Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison Sr. and a memorial service for slain Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in 1969.
Last year, the church building hosted a Nike basketball training camp for young athletes from the city’s South and West sides.
The company has yet to announce an opening date.