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Last Sunday I had a chance to attend holy mass in this beautiful over 100-year-old church in Chicago, Our Lady of Lourdes, with such an incredible story that it is hard to believe.

A few weeks ago I learned that it will be closed on May 19th, 2024, so I wanted to visit it and take some photos, to capture this architectural masterpiece.

But let’s go back in time before we move forward because you can still help!

The parish was founded in 1892 and the church building was contracted in 1916 on the East side of Ashland Ave.

Wait a minute Damian, but the church is on the West side of Ashland Ave.

Yes! And that is the most incredible story I have heard, the church building was moved! In 1926, Chicago wanted to widen Ashland Ave, where the church was located. The current pastor, Rev. James Scanlon purchased land on the other side of the street and hired Crowe Brothers Moving Company to move the entire church, which weighed more than 9,000 tons (18,000,000 lbs).

The entire process was led by architect Joseph W. McCarthy, after moving the church to the other side of Ashland Ave. it was roasted by 90 degrees, cut in half, and a 30-foot extension was added in the middle.

This Spanish Renaissance church also has a Grotto which is a replica of the Grotto in Lourdes, France. Below I will attach more photos.


Today we are trying to get historic landmark status for the church so it can’t be sold or demolished by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Please sign the petition:


Welcome to my blog! My name is Damian, I live in Chicago since 2015. I love to share my experience and knowledge on 3 subjects Photography, Coffee and Travel! Let me tell your story and capture memories with beautiful photography! Honorable Mention Award from “MIFA” – Moscow International Foto Awards.


  • Valerie Evers Bernacki says:

    Hello, Damian, this is Val. I spoke to you at this church when you were taking the pictures. Thank you for letting me see them here! I have signed the petition and donated. We live in Michigan, but whenever we visit our sons in Chicago, we attend Mass here. We are so sad to think it might be demolished! Praying it can be preserved. 🙏 Thank you for spreading the word.

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