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Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Address

1151 W. Leland Ave.

Neighborhood

Uptown / Ravenswood

Hours

Sat, Oct 15: 9am - 12pm, 3pm - 5pm

Sun, Oct 16: 1pm - 5pm

Photography Permitted Wheelchair Accessible

Completed

2006

Description

This six-sided temple has the same shape and proportions as the Rokkakudo Temple in Kyoto, Japan—where the Japanese Pure Land tradition of Buddhism developed. The temple was founded in Hyde Park in 1944 to serve a wave of Japanese-Americans just released from internment camps. In 1956, urban renewal projects drove it to a former church on the site it occupies today. Among the oldest Buddhist temples in Chicago, its accessibility to English speakers has made it diverse and multi-cultural. The interior of the new temple is spare and capped by a timber roof resting on radiating trusses. Focal points of the sanctuary include a stunningly detailed Admida Buddha altar and a series of hand-carved depictions of the life of the Buddha. Off to the side is the Nokotsudo, a small room for the temporary storage of cremated remains. The room also houses a second altar built of wood scraps by interned Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Behind the Scenes

See this contemporary Buddhist temple and its stunning historic altars.