As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block is on indefinite hiatus. The site will remain up in archive form while we evaluate our options, which may include a redesign or sale.
✶ Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. ✶
Wednesday, January 18
With a capacity of 3,500 congregants, the former Anshe Kanesses Israel synagogue was the largest of more than a dozen former synagogues located in North Lawndale. The building is currently known as Shepherd's Temple Baptist Church and is under an emergency demolition order following a December building inspection. The last time the building entered the building permitting system was for renovations on June 2, 2006 and July 30, 2007, although a 311 call was made about it being open and vacant on December 7, 2011.
Additional information about the building is available from the Chicago Tribune and from Preservation Chicago [pdf], which added it to its 2011 Chicago 7 list of endangered buildings. A petition to save the building is listed at change.org.
Additional support for this photograph and other images of former Chicago synagogues is provided by Daniel Lurie.
Over the course of 2012 David Schalliol produced a photographic portrait of 100 of the hundreds of buildings threatened with demolition in the city of Chicago. Nearly all of the buildings have since been demolished. Visit the background information section for more information about the project, including definitions and links to other building resources.
The series is supported by a generous grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.