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It is the world’s tallest church, though that claim comes with an asterisk because Chicago’s downtown First United Methodist Church consists primarily of two spaces.
Street - Level - Gathering - Place - Worship
The first, accessible through street level, is the main gathering place for worship. It consists of a nave with loft and chancel in the liturgical east end. The style could be called art deco gothic. Hardly authentic gothic revival, but clearly inspired by the style that defined ecclesiastical architecture from the second half of the 19th-century until the early 20th-century.
The second space is what puts the church, commonly called Chicago Temple, in the guidebooks.
Building - Sky - Chapel - Flights - Stairs
Located at the very top of the 23-story building, the Sky Chapel is accessible after climbing a couple flights of stairs — the building’s elevator doesn’t actually service the floor. It was added in the 1950s, thanks to the generosity of the Walgreen family of Walgreens drug store fame.
The chapel itself is small with space for maybe 20 or 25 people, which explains why it is only used for occasional services. The focal point is the ornate carved altar or communion table depicting Jesus weeping over...
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