The battle of St. Boniface: Archdiocese wants to raze historic church; preservationists want to save it (Chicago)

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Since it was shuttered in 1989, the imposing brick structure of St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church has provided neighbors and passersby with a reminder of the rich Catholic heritage of Chicago’s Near Northwest Side.

But the 104-year-old church also has been the subject of a contentious struggle between the Chicago archdiocese and preservationists seeking to rescue the Romanesque building from the wrecking ball.

Touching off another battle to preserve its crumbling walls, the archdiocese earlier this month asked the city for a permit to raze the building, saying the cost of transforming the structure would be prohibitive in ordinary economic times much less now.

[Cost to fix up the church? $25,000,000.]

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