The Newberry Seminar in Religious History, co-sponsored by the University of Chicago History Department and Divinity School and the History Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago present:
"D.L. Moody, The Chicago Avenue Church, and Louis Sullivan: Building Religious Urban Space"
Barbara Dobschuetz, University of Illinois at Chicago
January 30, 2003, 4:00-6:00 pm
This paper will explore the formation, building and relocation of Moody's Chicago Avenue Church following the Chicago Fire of 1871. Chicago's commercial culture was exploding and numerous church buildings reflected the newfound wealth and position of their congregations. Moody's church was making definite steps toward the embrace of commercial culture while still trying to maintain their image of being a house of worship for the poor. The controversy around the hiring of the young Louis Sullivan to paint the interior frescoing of the church reveals the "hybrid" relationship between the Chicago Avenue Church and Chicago's consumer culture. In addition to the challenges posed by the interior of the building and the religious/cultural statements their ultimate choices made, the exterior of the building and relocation of the church reveal both a contested complementary relationship between the church and its urban space.
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Scholl Center for Family and Community History
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
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