By Don Meyer
CHICAGO, IL (April 19, 2011) – Demolition of the former offices of the Evangelical Covenant Church is nearing completion this week, just 15 days after heavy equipment punched the first hole through a rear east wall of the structure located at 5101 North Francisco Avenue.
As the accompanying photo shows, the larger main portion of the building that housed the main entrance is gone, leaving only a portion of the wing located to the north side of the property. The photographer was standing along North Francisco Avenue when the photo was taken, showing the Swedish Covenant Hospital parking garage to the immediate rear of the property with the top of the Galter Medical Pavilion just visible above the garage structure.
The remaining portion of the north wing housed a number of offices including the Department of World Mission and a portion of the Department of Communication on the main floor; the offices of president and executive vice president, the Department of Compassion, Mercy and Justice, the Human Resources office, and the Department of Women Ministries on the upper floor; and additional Communications offices in the basement level, housing the Design Center, Media Center and Interactive Services.
Once the large backhoe punched two holes through the rear east wall on April 4, smaller bobcats began working inside the basement and first floor levels, knocking out interior partitions and hauling the debris outside for eventual removal.
The first major assault came in removing portions of the roof, followed by demolition on the south end of the main building that housed the Business Office on the top floor and Church Growth and Evangelism offices on the main floor. The former mailroom work area was in the basement level on the south end of the building. Demolition then generally progressed in a northerly direction until the main building was entirely removed, leaving only the north wing.
Depending on weather conditions, it is expected that most of the remaining wing will be removed before the end of this week. Click here to view additional photos taken over the course of 15 days. Click here to read an account of the decommissioning service for the former office location.
The structure had been home to Covenant offices since 1947, prior to the relocation of offices last fall to a retrofitted six-story building at 8303 West Higgins Road in the city, located closer to O’Hare International Airport just off the Cumberland exit ramp on the Kennedy Expressway (I-90).
The former office location is now owned by Swedish Covenant Hospital and will be redeveloped as part of the hospital’s long-term campus plan. Short-term, plans call for the area to be surfaced with asphalt and used for parking.