Music academy under contract to purchase historic St. Adalbert Church – Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Academy of Music is under contract with the Archdiocese of Chicago to purchase St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church in Pilsen, which has been a lightning rod for parishioners who are protesting the closure of the parish and preservationists who are encouraging restoration of the historic architectural gem.

The music conservatory is leasing a portion of the space as it waits for the sale to close, which is expected in the next several months, and it plans to host its inaugural performance Tuesday in what it advertised on Facebook as its “new home.”

Last February, the archdiocese announced Cardinal Blase Cupich‘s decision to close St. Adalbert, designed by architect Henry Schlacks, as part of a reconfiguration of six Pilsen parishes. Parishioners have staged prayer vigils, most recently over the weekend outside Holy Name Cathedral, where Cupich celebrates Mass.

“We recognize the archdiocese’s decision to enter an agreement with the Chicago Academy of Music to purchase the St. Adalbert Church and parish buildings is difficult for many to accept,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “However it came only after a yearslong transparent, consultative process that included surveys and meetings conducted throughout the Pilsen community. The fact remains that the buildings are in disrepair due to decades of declining weekly attendance and donations, a situation that has not substantially improved.”

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