Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 10 Reviews

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  • The courtyard
    The courtyard
    by rmjiv
  • Fourth Presbyterian Church
    by goodfish
  • Fourth Presbyterian Church
    by goodfish
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    Fourth Presbyterian Church

    by WulfstanTraveller Written Oct 14, 2013
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    This is an historic church in Chicago, built in Gothic Revival style in 1912. It serves a congregraiton founded in 1871. It is an interesting as well as peaceful place to relax in the church itself and in the enclosed garden, nice since it's in the middle of the Magnificant Mile area of Michigan Ave. right in the city core.

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    Fourth Presbyterian Church

    by rmjiv Written Jul 17, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Michigan Ave elevation
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    The Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago is a 1914 Gothic revival church directly across Michigan Ave from the John Hancock Center. The church building is one of the oldest along Michigan Ave north of the river. There is a quiet little courtyard (cloister) off of Michigan ave that you can duck into for a brief respite from the busyness of the rest of your travels.

    They offer tours of the church and of the organ but we missed them. Check their website for times.

    It is still an active Presbyterian (PCUSA) congregation holding services every Sunday. We attended the 11 a.m. service. It is a 'high' Presbyterian style: hymns, Doxology, Gloria Patri, Apostles' Creed, and Lord's Prayer. Typical dress for the service was slacks and button up shirt for the men, skirts or dresses for the women.

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    Fourth Presbyterian Church

    by goodfish Updated Feb 15, 2012

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    Churches are always a bonus for architecture/history enthusiasts 'cause they're all unique and are usually free. Gothic-style Fourth Presbyterian has been around since 1914 and has wonderful gargoyles and exterior ornamental carvings, and a lovely, cloister-like courtyard festooned with flowers and statuary.

    Carvings abound in the sanctuary as well in the form of an intricately worked ceiling - resembling an upended ship - and seven-foot angels keeping watch over the congregants. We didn't get to hear the organ but it's rumored to be magnificent. Bonus? Free concerts at noon every Friday either in the sanctuary or outdoors in the courtyard.

    Open 9AM-5 PM M-Th, 9AM - 4:30 PM Friday

    A fun bit of trivia: the marriage scene from "My Best's Friend's Wedding" was shot here; see a bit of that here.

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    Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue

    by Jefie Written Oct 13, 2008

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    Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue
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    I mentionned before that Michigan Avenue reminded me of NYC's Fifth Avenue, and in that case I guess it's fair to say that the Fourth Presbyterian Church is to the Magnificient Mile what St. Patrick's Cathedral is to 5th Ave. The Fourth Presbyterian Church was consecrated on October 8, 1871, but on that very same night it was destroyed by the Great Fire that burned down almost the entire city. After moving into a new building in 1874, the congregation finally decided to build a new church in what was then a very quiet neighborhood. The new church on Michigan Avenue was completed in 1914, making it the oldest surviving structure on the Magnificient Mile after the Water Tower. Built in the Gothic Revival style, the church's architecture reflects the best of what its architect Ralph Adams Cram had seen in France and England at the time. The church is open to the public free of charge and right next to it there is a beautiful courtyard designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw. The Friday nights organ concerts are also free.

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    Fourth Presbyterian Church

    by SnoopySue Written Feb 4, 2005
    Fourth Presbyterian Church

    New Fourth Presbyterian Church built 1914 was the first major structure built on Michigan Avenue after the 1871 fire. Nice and tranquil courtyard as well as church's organ which can be heard at weekly concerts.

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  • Fourth Presbyterian Church - Courtyard

    by grkboiler Written Dec 1, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4th Church Courtyard

    The courtyard at the Fourth Presbyterian Church is a small area where free concerts are held in the summer at noon every friday. Check the website for concert schedules. They last about 45 minutes. There are also other concerts throughout the year that take place indoors.

    The centrepiece of the courtyard is the Childrens Fountain, also known as Garth. It was a gift from architect Howard Van Doren Shaw.

    I will try to stop by and get a picture in the summer when everything is green and the fountain is running.

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  • Fourth Presbyterian Church - Interior

    by grkboiler Written Dec 1, 2004

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    4th Presbyterian Church

    The interior of Fourth Presbyterian Church is very beautifully decorated. The carved wooden ceiling really stands out, as do the carved angels that line the piers along the aisles of the ceiling. They stand 7 feet tall and there are 14 of them.

    The organ, which sits to the left of the stained glass window in the picture, has 6,603 pipes. The stained glass window itself (Great West Window) features Christ, angels, Moses, John the Baptist, and Isaiah. There are other equally impressive stained glass windows in the church.

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  • Fourth Presbyterian Church

    by grkboiler Written Dec 1, 2004

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    Fourth Presbyterian Church

    The Fourth Presbyterian Church is the 2nd oldest building on Michigan Ave. north of the Chicago River behind the Old Water Tower. It was completed in 1914 and has over 5,000 members. Architect Ralph Adams Cram built the church as a combination of the English Gothic and French Gothic styles.

    The history of the church goes back to 1871 when Westminster Presbyterian Church and North Presbyterian Church merged. On the same night it celebrated its first service, the church's first worship site was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. The next church was built in 1874 at Rush and Superior and was quicky outgrown. In 1912, ground was broken for the present location.

    If walking down Michigan Avenue near Water Tower, it is worth stopping in and seeing this structure.

    See my other tips for more specific details.

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    Caring about children

    by shrimp56 Written Apr 14, 2004

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    This photograph shows the exterior architecture of the Fourth Presbyterian Church as well as blue cloth ties on the trees in front of the church and its cloister. They represent the cases of child abuse and neglect in the state of Illinois for the last year.
    .
    The website provides some history for the building.

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  • Fourth Presbyterian Church - Cloister

    by grkboiler Written Dec 1, 2004

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    4th Presbyterian Church

    The cloister is the area that separates the courtyard from Michigan Avenue. It is surprisingly quiet and peaceful even with all the traffic and sounds from the street.

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