St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church

Project Name
St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church

733 S. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, Illinois

Project Status
Church remains; Mallin decorations destroyed in a fire

Project Date/s

St Basil Greek Orthodox Church, located on the near West side of Chicago, was originally Anshe Sholom Synagogue, which was built in 1910.  By the 1920s, many of the Jewish families in the neighborhood moved to Lawndale, where a new temple was built.

In 1927, the building became St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church, with over 2,000 Greeks participating in the dedication on April 9.  The church was designated the first Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Chicago by Bishop Philaretos.

Many parishioners of St Basil left the area during the nearby construction of the Eisenhower Expressway in 1947.  In the late 1960s and early 1970s many businesses and homes were torn down when the University of Illinois Chicago campus was built.  Although the church membership declined,  the remaining members supported the church.

John Mallin decorated St Basil in 1949-1950, according to his bank records, which show large deposits from St Basil.  In 1977 a fire destroyed most of the church, which was then completely renovated.  Another fire occurred in the church in 2013, but the church was again renovated.

Although none of Mallin’s decorations survived, there are black and white photos of his decorations shown here.


History of St Basil Church