St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church
110 W. Madison St.
Vitzthum & Burns, 1953
St. Peter's was founded in 1846 and moved from an 1865 structure to its current Art Deco home in the 1950s. Uncharacteristically for a church, it immediately abuts the sidewalk and therefore blends in at ground level with surrounding buildings. Up above, the facade is dominated by a large crucifix designed by Latvian sculptor Arvid Strauss and executed by Chicago artist J. Watts called “Christ of the Loop.” It was not originally a traditional neighborhood parish, instead intended to serve thousands of Loop workers and travelers who sought a convenient church away from home. But today it also welcomes a growing population of Loop residents. It's not uncommon for 20,000 faithful to line up at St. Peter's on Ash Wednesday to receive ashes on the way to work.