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St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church

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1723 W. 48th St.


Back of the Yards

Expansion Architect

Joseph Molitor, 1914


St. Joseph was formed in 1887 by Polish immigrants who worked the Union Stockyards. It is one of the largest and most opulent examples of the "Polish Cathedral" style in Chicago. The Back of the Yards neighborhood has gone through many changes over 130 years, and the church has evolved with it. The original church structure is now St. John Paul II Hall with the current church building, designed by Joseph Molitor, opening in 1914. In the early 1950s, the church was redecorated by artist John A. Mallin. For many years, a dirt lot occupied the spot where a convent once stood, until 2015, when the new St. Joseph Plaza adorned with a paver stone rosary was inaugurated in its place. Today, Mass is offered in English, Polish, and Spanish, reflecting the succession of ethnic groups that have made a home in this part of the city.

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