The best thing I did this week | Chicago Temple
Every day, as the Around Town editor, I hit the streets reporting on an event, attending a party or exhibit, or searching for a lead. Only some of what I do and see makes it to the pages of Time Out Chicago. Many activities are too boring, offensive or mind-numbingly disorganized (you'd be surprised how often all three occur) for me to list or feature. Other things are unexpectedly wonderful, and I feel remiss because I lack the pages to pen an impromptu article. And that's where this new blog series comes in. Every Monday I'm writing "The best thing I did this week." It's about, well, the best thing I did on a given week. Not too complicated, eh?
This week's "thing": I'll give you a hint. What's free, open 7am–9pm, quiet, warm as a sauna and located in the Loop's business district? Give up? The giant chapel in this photo. Surprised? Just off Washington and Dearborn Streets, an easy-to-miss neogothic doorway opens up into a 1,000-seat sanctuary. You've probably noticed the exterior of the Chicago Temple—a 23-story flurry of steeples that lorded over Chicago's skyline as the tallest structure at the time of its 1924 completion. But us office cogs who spend hours working just around the corner might be surprised that its interior masks three chapels, including the main floor chapel, pictured.
While researching an article about peaceful places, I skipped inside Chicago Temple on a chilly Tuesday and my jaw dropped at the sheer unexpectedness. It's one of those amazing old-Chicago spaces that I thought died when Potbelly's and Jimmy John's took over every Loop lobby. And don't worry: It isn't a scary cult where women in long skirts with sparkly eyes warn you about the world's end, it's a Presbyterian Church and mixed-use office space. Plus, the chapel is brightly lit, and in my experience, no one will pay you any mind at all. So go, clear your head and experience the stained glass, dark wood pews and stenciled ceiling...before it becomes a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins.