St. Thomas of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church
4827 N. Kenmore Ave.
Joseph W. McCarthy, 1917
St. Thomas of Canterbury was the first of three parishes organized by Chicago Archbishop George W. Mundelein. The parish was founded in 1916 at the north end of the “Wilson Avenue District” now known as Uptown. Father Francis O’Brien, the first pastor, set about providing a combination church-school building. Joseph W. McCarthy, one of the most prolific designers of buildings for the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, was hired to draw up plans for an American neo-classical structure complete with a colonnade not unlike what one finds at banks and commercial buildings of the day. It was intended as a distinctly American building that symbolizes love of God and love of country. St. Thomas was the only Catholic Church in Chicago built in this style. Numerous shrines inside the otherwise restrained and elegant nave, lit through pastel stained-glass windows, celebrate this cultural diversity.