St. Chrysostom’s Church Brooker Chapel

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The Brooker Chapel at St. Chrysostom’s Church in Chicago’s Gold Coast balances an ensemble of interior spaces that together comprise a sanctuary that reflects the church’s growth and transformation over the course of more than a century. The new chapel occupies a former organ loft at the front of the sanctuary, made available upon completion of a new organ. The new chapel completes the ceremonial front of the church, balancing David Adler’s elegant Crane Chapel situated at the opposite side of the central dais and engaging formerly isolated aisles of seating. The Brooker Chapel’s vaulted space deferentially echoes the Crane Chapel’s volume, and can be configured for a variety of programming. Its rich finishes, decorative painting and stained glass afford it a distinct identity that nevertheless resides comfortably in the Sanctuary ensemble. This entirely new space appears to have been ‘uncovered’, and its incorporation of a historic painting and newly-commissioned decorative arts elements celebrate the character, materials palette and scale of the Church while providing fitting tribute to its namesake, a beloved steward and benefactor of St. Chrysostom’s.

The new chapel has been received with great enthusiasm and fondness. The side of the sanctuary that the chapel terminates was once orphaned and unpopular, but is now fully integrated into the space and has become a favored place to sit. Comments applauding the incorporation of the names of the donor family into the new art glass are testimony to the chapel’s success in finding an esteemed and comfortable place in the imagination of the congregation. It has achieved its objectives of celebratory splendor, individual character and seamless integration into an evolving collection of spaces and elements that will no doubt see further change and embellishment in the future.



Architect of Record

HBRA Architects Inc.

Contractor

St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church

General Contractor

Bulley & Andrews

Consultants

  • Botti Studio of Architectural Arts, Inc.
  • Simes Studios
  • Hester Painting & Decorating