Archive for the ‘Johnson and Lee’ Category

K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist by Louis Sullivan to be reborn – as what?


Most of the church nee synagogue burned to the ground, due to negligence during maintenance, a little over a year ago.
Today Deacon Robert Vaughn named Johnson & Lee, Ltd. as the architect for the rebuilding.

Architect Christopher Lee announced that ,

preliminary reconstruction plans range “from replication to doing something unexpected, but really nice.”

Well, I’m glad it’ll be “really nice.” Sorry to be cynical, and maybe the story will turn out well, we must make sure it does.

Visit Johnson & Lee, Ltd.’s website to see what they’ve designed to date.

They’ll work with the highly-respected Quinn Evans Architects, of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Washington D.C. That firm has worked on the restoration of two buildings with important historical connections to African Americans, one in Detroit and the other in Topeka, Kan.

Today architect Christopher Lee promised to respect the work of Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. What does that mean specifically?

We did not respect Adler and Sullivan and their gifts – or ourselves – when we didn’t protect Pilgrim Baptist and it burnt to the ground. Let’s respect ourselves now by rebuilding at 33rd and Indiana, Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler’s moving design, completed in 1891. We’ve got to raise public and private money for that. Walking through K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist and hearing gospel music sung there tells us who we are and who we were and who we can be.

Involve John Vinci in the restoration. He knows the place inside and out, has detailed photos and drawings and has already restored it once.

And consult with Chicago’s Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson, (audio link). He’ll also make sure the Sullivan spirit survives.

Pray for funding.

Then please, rebuild K.A.M. to Adler and Sullivan’s original design. If they could do it so magnificently in 1890-91, why can’t we today?