Bronzeville’s landmarked—and heavily damaged—Pilgrim Baptist Church at 3301 S. Indiana Avenue may get a new lease on life as the nation’s first gospel music museum. Organizers behind the ambitious adaptive reuse project held a press conference last week to discuss the planned nonprofit institution as well as share a rendering of the completed restoration.
Built by famed Chicago architecture firm Adler and Sullivan as a synagogue in 1890, the structure became home to a Baptist congregation in the 1920s and is credited as the birthplace of the gospel music genre in the 1930s. The South Side building was severely damaged in 2006 when a fire gutted its interior and destroyed its roof.
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