St. Malachy Church
St. Malachy Church (now called St. Malachy Precious Blood Church)
2248 W. Washington Blvd
Intact; church open
St Malachy church was organized in 1882 in a wooden church on the West side of Chicago to serve a primarily Irish congregation. In 1884, a Gothic church was constructed on the corner of Walnut St and Western Ave. Other ethnic groups, including Italian and Slovaks later moved into the area. In the late 1920s, the city of Chicago announced that Western Avenue was going to be widened. This necessitated the razing of the church. In 1929, a new St Malachy church was constructed at the present day address, on the near West side of Chicago on Washington Blvd. The architect was Edward T.P. Graham of Boston. The cornerstone of the old church was installed at the new St. Malachy church. The church was dedicated on Nov. 9, 1930. The redbrick church has a Spanish tile roof and a 120 foot campanile.
The oak paneling in the church and the hand carvings were finished by Dick and Traeger Co. of Chicago. The pulpit and pews, whose ends were hand carved, were created by the American Church and Chapel Company. The group of figures around the window of the crucifixion was modeled by a Mr. Romanelli in the studio of Goss and Guise, who also did the plastering.
John Mallin decorated parts of the church for Father J. F. Callaghan in 1930. Mallin’s decorations included the embellishment and decoration of the group of figures around the window of the Crucifixion, and the painting of the shields over the columns in the church. A photo from one of Mallin’s brochures shows the figures around the window and some of the shields.
By the 1970s, the parish served primarily African American families on the West side of Chicago. It is one of the oldest Black Catholic parishes in Chicago. In 2012, St. Malachy was united with Precious Blood parish, which was established in 1907 to serve the Irish and Italian communities. The parish now serves many communities, including the African American and Mexican American communities. The church also has a special mass for the Ghananian community. The combined church is now called St Malachy Precious Blood church.
St. Malachy Precious Blood website. http://www.stmalachypreciousblood.org/history.php
Souvenir of dedication of St. Malachy Church, Nov. 9, 1930.
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.