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Shrine Of Christ The King Gets Permits To Start Rebuilding

By Sam Cholke | September 1, 2016 4:51pm
 The city has issued building permits allowing the Shrine of Christ the King to start the process of rebuilding.
The city has issued building permits allowing the Shrine of Christ the King to start the process of rebuilding.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

WOODLAWN — Shrine of Christ the King has gotten the go-ahead from the city to start replacing the roof destroyed in a fire last October.

The building permit issued on Monday allows for the first major portion of the rebuilding effort to begin in earnest in a race to close up the church before winter arrives.

In October, an early morning fire nearly gutted the historic shrine at 6401 S. Woodlawn Ave. and completely destroyed the roof, leaving the steel girders that once supported it warped and brittle.

A representative from the shrine was not immediately available to comment.

Jim Raffin, project manager for Raffin Construction, said in April that the roof will be ready by October and will take three weeks to install.

The shrine suffered through last winter open to the elements while preservationists negotiated with the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago to not demolish the historic church and instead hand it over to the order of the canons running the shrine, a deal that was finalized in February.

A construction report completed in early August showed that, in addition to the roof, there was extensive work that needs to be done to the façade to protect the structure from the elements.

The shrine has raised more than $1 million of an estimated $2.5 million necessary for the first phase of construction to build a new roof and protect the interior from the elements.

The shrine continues to solicit donations on its website.

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