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Church of the Holy Pigskin

Saint agnes football

When my morning train passes through the Brighton Park neighborhood, to the south I always see a hulking building that looks like an auditorium. This morning, a few minutes of Google Mapping and a quick address search finally revealed its identity: the St. Agnes Parish Center, once a thriving local landmark (roller rink! bowling lanes!) but now vacant after having become much less vital with the demolition of the adjacent church a few decades ago. Clearly this parish took their sports very seriously, as this carved figure would attest. Carved gargoyles and crosses I'm used to seeing in church architecture, but football players? Hardly.

April 12, 2013 in Chicago Observations | Permalink


Oh my gosh--what an interesting building. I've seen modern sports grotesques before--there are a couple on buildings at Princeton--but not on a Catholic rec center. I hope that building sticks around long enough for me to get out there and see it for myself.

Posted by: Jeff at Apr 12, 2013 3:40:57 PM

Here's the Google Street view: http://goo.gl/maps/su4Cl

Other than the football player and the tennis player, the building seems rather plain - and if you zoom in, it looks like the facade is slowly collapsing, piece by piece. I wonder if the interior is more ornate.

Posted by: Pete at Apr 12, 2013 4:11:53 PM

And here's the back of the building, which also looks quite plain: http://goo.gl/maps/Spn7f

I can't help but appreciate Google capturing the sight of a homeless guy lounging against the back wall, apparently reading a newspaper.

Posted by: Pete at Apr 12, 2013 4:17:38 PM

Yeah, looks like it's lost quite a bit of its luster, alas...

Posted by: Jeff at Apr 15, 2013 10:38:06 PM