St. Nicholas German Catholic Church

Postcard depicting St. Nicholas School, 1910s

Later known as St. James Temple, this German parish was constructed in 1890 and designed by William J. Brinkmann. Brinkmann was born to German immigrants and raised in Chicago where received his architectural training at the firm of Burnham and Root. After furthering his architectural knowledge in Europe, he settled down in California where he designed homes for political and industrial notables such as Ulysses S. Grant Jr.

After returning to Chicago, he made a name for himself designing chirches, among them being St. Michael Church, Walsh Hall as part of the University of Notre Dame, St. Josaphat Church, Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica where he was one of three architects involved in its design, as well as the Mausoleum of the Bishops and Archbishops of Chicago in Mount Carmel Cemetery. 

Brinkmann died in a gruesome way; his mangled and decapitated body was found on train tracks in February 1911. Even though his death remains unsolved, it is theorized to have been suicide. 

St. Nicholas Church closed in 1973 when four parishes in the Roseland area were consolidated into All Saints parish, including All Saints, Holy Rosary, St. Louis of France, and St. Nicholas. After sitting empty for decades, residents began filing complaints to the City of Chicago as far back as 2018 in regards to chunks of the facade which had fallen off the building. At the time, a live demolition order was postponed since the church was being considered for landmark status. Unfortunately, the church was demolished in August 2019.

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