Address: 301 N. Mayfield Ave. Year Built:
1936 (original building), 1956 (addition)
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark:
February 6, 2008
With its straightforward use of Chicago common brick and simple wood elements, this unassuming but visually-distinctive church building is an early Chicago example of a house of worship built in the modern style of architecture. The unusual design reflects the progressive character of the Unitarian congregation as well as the financial constraints imposed by the Great Depression at the time it was built. When it was completed, the Third Unitarian Church Building was widely published in national architectural journals and was recognized by contemporary critics as an important work of architecture. Following this successful design, architect Paul Schweikher went on to play an important role in the development of modern architecture in America through his architectural practice and as head of the Yale School of Architecture. The respectful addition to the north (left side of photo) from 1956 is by William Fyfe, who worked with Schweikher during the design of the original building.