LOGAN SQUARE — As the first major renovation of Logan Square’s red church gets underway, church leaders are hosting a community meeting so neighbors can learn more about the construction project.
At the virtual meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, church leaders will detail the “critical” repairs coming to the 109-year-old Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, 2614 N. Kedzie Ave., over the next several months.
With help from a $250,000 city grant, crews will stabilize the church’s crumbling brick facade and make repairs to prevent water from seeping inside. The church, also known as Minnekirken, has long suffered from water damage.
The city grant, awarded by the Chicago Commission on Landmarks earlier this month, only covers a portion of the church renovation project, which will cost about $725,000 in total. The rest of the project is being paid for with money from the church’s coffers and donations. Church leaders have raised nearly $115,000 in donations for the project since late 2019.
This project — the structure’s first extension renovation since it was built in 1912 — aims to inject new life into the church, which is one of the most recognizable buildings in Logan Square. The church is also one of just two remaining churches in the United States where Norwegian is the primary language spoken.
Church leaders are eager to get the crucial restoration project done “with heavy, earth-moving machinery expected to operate not far from the church’s doorstep,” they said in an online fundraiser in January 2020.
Soon the city plans to rip up the notoriously dangerous Logan Square traffic circle and replace it with a better design. Developers are also converting the long-vacant Grace’s Furniture building into a 44-room boutique hotel with two restaurants.
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