Project Overview

Mission and Vision

In 1996, Lake View Presbyterian Church began the redevelopment of its congregation. These efforts have resulted in substantial growth in both membership and financial stability.

169 new members

186 total membership

50% of new members are under 40


Demographic research indicates that the young adult and new family population (20-35) in our neighborhood will continue to grow. Therefore, increased outreach to these expanding demographics is appropriate. Our current facilities do not provide feasible space for extended use by the church or community groups. We seek to renovate the church exterior and build a new multi-purpose facility that will enable new multi-generational programs and enhance existing ministries.


Our vision is to provide a place where the diverse members of our neighborhood can gather for the promotion of spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Through the nurture of body, mind and spirit we seek to serve our neighborhood while we grow a community of believers equipped to carry the good news of the gospel into the world.


The plan calls for a phased approach while we continue to grow and solidify our membership.


Phase One will stabilize the exterior of our sanctuary building and address deferred maintenance issues that negatively affect a visitor’s first impression. Phase Two will include the construction of a multi-purpose facility that will accommodate the growth of our faith community as well as better serve our neighbors in Lake View. An overview of our plan follows.



Phase One: A Brighter Face


John Wellborn Root, partner of Daniel Burnham and fellow architect of the 1893 Universal Exposition in Chicago, was the architect of our sanctuary; despite the passage of time, much of his original design remains intact. We intend to restore the siding and stained glass while adding insulation and fire safety measures throughout the building. Root’s designs have been changed enough through the years to prevent a complete historic restoration. Our plan, however, will stabilize and protect an old frame building, provide a much-needed aesthetic improvement of the exterior, and restore the most charming aspects of the original designs (such as the dramatic steeple on the southeast corner). Our neighborhood, Lakeview, has undergone an extensive face-lift in the past ten years: our sanctuary building is one of the oldest in Lakeview and one of the few remaining to be improved. Proper stewardship of this historic gem is an important first step for our congregation.


Cost: $1.5 million


Phase Two: Community Center


Elements of the community center include:


Coffee Shop 

The coffee shop at street level will serve a variety of purposes. The coffee shop will be an entry point for those who might be curious about what happens in our space, but are uncertain about organized religion. As a spot for community gathering, the coffee shop might have live music, book discussions or be a spot where other activities in the building could be promoted. Job training for our high school students could be made available, as they complete work requirements for graduation.


Day Care

At street level, behind the coffee shop the toddler day care will provide much needed services for the neighborhood. There are two possible uses of the day care space. One use is for full time toddler care and education. The second use is as a drop off center for parents needing hourly or intermittent day care. In addition, our Lake View Academy students would have day care for their children, keeping our teenage parents in school.


Athletic Facility 

This multi-generational space would allow for group and individual fitness programming. Focus groups with neighborhood people found that there was high interest in league volleyball, pick up basketball and exercise classes for all ages. There seem to be a number of fitness equipment facilities but a lack of organized fitness leagues and classes. Particularly in need are programs for stay-at-home parents and toddlers. The Lake View Academy students can use the facility in the building instead of finding external facilities for physical education classes. This space also has a mezzanine designed for use in theatre events.


Lake View Academy

Lake View Academy is an alternative high school for at risk youth. The school operates in the Parish House building and has been a mission of Lake View Presbyterian for decades. The challenge is to engage high school students unable to succeed at other schools and provide them with knowledge and skills to succeed in the future


Providing the Academy with additional classroom, office, and storage space would yield many benefits. Enrollment is now limited to 25 students. With more space and efficient configuration, attendance could be doubled to 50 students. This would double the number of students who graduate from high school and succeed. The newly designed space and additional personnel at the school would maintain the personal attention for which it is known.


Science and physical education classes, now taught off-site by necessity, could be moved into the school, giving students more time for study. An expanded library/computer facility would improve technical skills and facilitate research efforts. These facilities may also be available to other members of the community center such as seniors.


More private space could be dedicated to the counseling staff who meets with students during the school day. The service helps them work through issues that are impeding classroom performance as well as providing vocational and college counseling.


To graduate, Academy students are required to hold a part-time job for 5 consecutive months. The multi-purpose design of the entire building would provide new opportunities for students to fulfill this requirement.


Senior Outreach

Lake View Presbyterian Church’s primary objective for the Senior Citizen Outreach Program is to provide a valuable resource to seniors within the community, assisting them with important health and welfare issues.


Many seniors face the challenge of finding affordable food and healthcare within the community. For over 25 years, Lake View Presbyterian has been offering the Golden Diners Program, which provides lunches for the elderly on a daily basis. In addition, Lake View Presbyterian’s Parish Nurse has been assisting the seniors by monitoring their health and setting up activity and exercise classes. These services aid seniors and foster social interaction.


In order to keep seniors self-reliant, more services are needed. Lake View wants to expand its healthcare offerings to include dental healthcare, flu shots, home care assistance and physical therapy. Legal and Accounting service offerings could include benefit analysis, tax assistance and landlord/tenant dispute resolution. Additional facilities would allow for organized exercise, crafts, special interest activities and social gatherings. These activities can be coordinated with other users of the facility for multigenerational interaction.


Church Space

In the new space, the church will expand its current educational programming, providing for the spiritual needs of its own membership and the greater Lakeview community. A variety of classes held at different levels and for different age groups will be offered such as Bible study, spirituality and current issues addressed from a faith context. Attention will be given to the coordination of courses to complement the offerings from the physical fitness facilities and other mission areas. The new space will also include office operations for the church and its community activities.


Cost: $5 million



Next steps


Bids for the stained glass and exterior work have been secured by vendors that the Presbytery of Chicago has recommended. The scope of the project has been identified. A first step in the exterior renovation is to spend $80,000 to investigate the extent of deterioration under the current siding. This would be a discovery phase but would also result in a section of the building being completed, generating momentum for future work and enabling our neighbors to see our “brighter face”.


The new building will be constructed next to the historic sanctuary building on the site of the current Parish House. Preliminary drawings and a rendering have been secured in order to determine a cost estimate for this project.


Sanctuary Building: $1.5 million

Third Space Building: $8.0 million

Total: $9.5 million


A feasibility study of the community center project has been completed by a local development company. They verified cost estimates and market assumptions regarding income and expenses. The facility will be looking at an annual operating budget of approximately $100,000. This budget is well within the reach of our growing and vital congregation.





Phase One: A Brighter Face 

Begin initial work Fall 2004

Secure funding by the end of 2005

Complete project by end of 2005


Phase Two: Community Center

Develop relationships and identify potential partners through 2005

Define potential staffing requirements for campaign by end of 2005

Identify and secure Phase Two funding by the end of 2006

Begin Building in 2006


We hope that you or someone that you know is able to assist us with our Third Space project. We would welcome one time gifts, on going grants and stock transfers. We are interested in individual, corporate and public donations. We are also looking for volunteer help with fundraising and strategic planning.



How You Can Help


We believe the time is right for just such a place as our Third Space project. Many city programs and other social service agencies have left our neighborhood due to the massive redevelopment of real estate. No institution currently exists that can provide the services we envision needed to support the emerging community. Lake View Presbyterian Church has a legacy of community partnership and a calling for community service.


We imagine a community gathering space that is well cared for and responds to the diverse needs of this community—one in which the neighborhood is fed and nurtured not only on Sunday but all week long. We offer the location and the vision where the gift of God’s love can be felt and encountered by all ages, all stages of faith, all circumstances of life at Third Space.


Phase One is underway and on schedule! The church is currently securing the final $200,000 for Phase One funding. Please watch the progress on our website at


We hope that you will consider a gift to this historic project!


For questions or information on how you can help, contact Rev. Joy Douglas Strome at 773-281-2655.