Chicago Landmarks

Pilgrim Baptist Church

Exterior, photo by Bob Thall     Address: 3301 S. Indiana Ave.
Year Built: 1890 - 1891
Architect: Adler & Sullivan
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: December 18, 1981

Interior, photo by Bob Thall The decorative and planning skills of architect Louis H. Sullivan, along with the engineering abilities of Dankmar Adler, are embodied in the strong masonry forms of this building, which is embellished with terra-cotta panels of intricate foliage designs. The dramatic interior of the church contains similar ornament. Built as Kehilath Anshe Ma' ariv synagogue, the building has housed the Pilgrim Baptist Church since 1922. During the 1930s, this congregation and its longtime music director, Thomas A. Dorsey, were instrumental in the development of gospel music. Among those who sang here were: Mahalia Jackson, Sallie Martin, James Cleveland, and the Edwin Hawkins Singers.