Buddhist Temple of Chicago
1151 W. Leland Ave.
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 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 scraps by interned Japanese-Americans during World War II.