Church School Built in 1886 Slated for Demolition Monday

It has not housed a school since 1970, and last year, according to this letter to parish members from Pastor Nick of St. Aloysius Church, the city had deemed the 125-year-old building at 1526 N. Claremont too unsafe for occupancy, as the church concluded that the cost to repair the 10-room schoolhouse constructed in 1886 would be too great of a burden to bear, and that one of its last remaining original structures must be sacrificed in order to make room for a larger and more usable Parish community center.

Part-time weekend church receptionist Luisana, pictured, who has worked at the church for five years, and is studying to be a social worker, confirmed yesterday that the building at 1526 N. Claremont is scheduled to be demolished this Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 at Noon. The Pipeline was alerted to the impending demolition by a sidewalk chalk “X” mark pointing to the structure, pictured.

Luisana, whom we’ve met on previous occasions along with other church members (full disclosure: in absence of having a patio or porch, The Pipeline has become a regular on the St. Aloysius’s garden’s bench over the past near seven years) expressed positive yet bittersweet feelings toward Monday’s demolition, which she confirmed, reflecting,”Something old will be torn down, but something new that will bring the community together will take its place.”

Though not sure when the building was built, Pedro, the church’s maintenance man whom was emerging from the building when we were walking by, said that he thinks that the building is from the 1890s. Curious to learn more, The Pipeline consulted local historian and Our Urban Times publisher Elaine Coorens’ book, Wicker Park from 1673 thru 1929, where we learned on page 93,excerpt pictured, that the building at 1526 N. Claremont was once a 10-room school house, built in 1886.

Pastor Nick is out of the country, and will not be present at the demolition on Monday.

Meanwhile, Elaine Coorens appears to be on the other side of Wicker Park, covering news on another 1500 block, this one Milwaukee Ave., writing about graffiti tags on a historic structure,”The People’s Light & Coke Company” building, home to Aldo shoes. The photo of “Coke Company” included in this post was snapped by The Pipeline back in ’09, which was a blip in history compared to 1886.