LOGAN SQUARE — One of the most recognizable buildings in Logan Square, the Minnekirken, got a recent upgrade thanks to neighborhood preservationists.
Minnekirken, the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, is one of just two churches in America where Norwegian is the primary language spoken and is one of the oldest ethnic churches in Logan Square.
Most of the original stained glass windows on the church, which was built in 1906, have been covered in Plexiglas due to structural damage for decades.
On Thursday the original stained glass above the entrance to the church were replaced, returning a portion of the historic structure to its original look.
Reporter Paul Biasco on the effort to restore the windows at historic Minnekirken church.
Logan Square Preservation raised $5,000 to cover the cost of the first phase of the project.
The group hopes to eventually raise enough money to repair the remaining windows on the facade of the church.
"It's a special church for us," said Andrew Schneider, president of Logan Square Preservation.
Schneider said the church, 2614 N. Kedzie Ave., made a commitment to the neighborhood when it opted into the Logan Square Boulevards Historic District when it was not mandatory due to its position as a religious building.
It was the only church that opted in the landmark designation in 2004.
The church has agreed to light the interior behind the windows at night to provide a backdrop of stained glass onto the square every evening.
"This is a view people haven't seen in 30 years? 40 years?" Schneider said.
Dozens of people streaming out of the neighboring "L" stop Thursday afternoon stopped to take photos of the new windows.
"It's exactly what you want to happen," Schneider said. "People stopping. Thinking, 'This is beautiful.'"
David Condon, who owns and operates Colorsmith Stained Glass, said the windows needed new lead and repairs to a number of cracks in the panes.
"When they light it at night there will be a nice display for the square," he said.
The second phase of the project to repair the remaining windows on the facade is estimated at $25,000.
Logan Square Preservation launched a crowdfunding campaign for the project Friday.
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