St. Andrew’s Church

Project Name
St. Andrew's Church

3546 N. Paulina Street
Chicago, Illinois

Project Status
Church open; Mallin decorations are gone

Project Date/s
Decoration date: between 1927-1929

St Andrew’s Church was established in 1894 at Addison and Paulina Streets, to serve English speaking Catholics on the North Side of Chicago.  The first church was built in 1894 as a small wooden church.  As the congregation grew, a new church was needed, and was completed in June of 1913 in a Romanesque style.   In July of 1924, Father David L. McDonald was named pastor of the church.  He served until he died in 1930.

Father McDonald hired John Mallin to decorate the church, the date unknown.  However, Father McDonald was named a Domestic Prelate with the title “Right Reverend Monsignor” in 1928.  In Mallin’s brochures for St Andrew, McDonald is referred to as “Right Rev,” so the decorations probably were done between 1927-1929.

A description of the decorations in the brochure states that “The sanctuary ceiling is decorated with an ornamental frieze around the panel and the ‘Holy Ghost” emblem in the center.  Walls above the new altar are decorated with a picture of ‘The Ascension,’ painted on canvas, thirty feet by twenty-four feet.  All of the decoration has been highlighted and shaded by hand.”

A description of the side elevation of the church, states “The ceiling beams and ornaments throughout the church are worked out in gold with a touch of colors.  The panels in the beams are decorated with Italian Renaissance ornament.  The frieze of the main cornice is painted in plastic relief with emblems in the center.  The columns throughout the church are marbleized that the eye cannot detect the imitation from the real marble.”   Mallin also provided a mural decoration for the rectory.

In 1931, the Very Rev. Msgr. William P. Griffin was named the new pastor.  His first concern was to relieve overcrowding in the church, and hired the architect Joe W. McCarthy to expand the church.  After the expansion in 1932 the church was redecorated and the Mallin decorations were removed.  The church remains open.


A History of the Parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago Volume 1. Msgr. Harry C. Koenig, S.T.D., editor. The Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago, 1980.​

John A. Mallin
Painting Fragment