Historical Landmarks

Historical Landmarks in Old Town Chicago

St. Michael’s Church
456 W Eugenie Street
(312) 642-2498

In 1852, German Catholic immigrants founded St. Michael’s Church as a place for German immigrants to worship. The parish grew, and construction began on a new brick church, dedicated in 1869. Its 200-foot steeple was taller than Chicago’s Water Tower building, which at the time was the tallest building in Chicago.

The Moody Church
1635 N LaSalle Drive
(312) 327-8600

In the mid-19th century, Dwight L. Moody built one of the largest and most well-known churches of its kind. The church on North LaSalle Drive was built after the Chicago Fire consumed the original church, and is one of the largest Romanesque churches in the country.

Edgar Miller Design Studios
1366 N Sedgwick Street
(312) 690-7359

This nonprofit organization encompasses the large body of work of Edgar Miller, an influential artist who lived in Old Town during the 1920s. From the 1920s to the 1970s, they drew in hundreds of artists and designers as residents and visitors, becoming a center of inspiration and creativity.

Germania Place
108 W Germania Place
(312) 787-0190

The 129-year old former hall for German immigrants at 108 W. Germania Place was created in 1865 as the Germania Manichord and is one of the oldest buildings in Chicago. The building is now occupied by Kenmare Catering and Events, a high-end caterer for weddings and social and corporate events.

Emmel Building
1349 N Wells Street

In 1854, Peter Emmel came to Chicago from Germany and built this combination retail-residential structure for his family and business. The building, which was reconstructed in 1871 after the Great Chicago Fire, is an example of Italianate design, boasting masterfully carved stonework on the façade of the second and third floors, and topped by a metal cornice and gable. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Piper’s Alley
210 W North Avenue

Founded by Rudolph Schwartz and Jack Solomonin 1965, Piper’s Alley was a cobblestone passage that offered access to eclectic shops in five buildings selling handcrafted goods, jewelry, records, posters, vintage clothes and food. A large Tiffany lamp at the entrance beckoned visitors inside, and the atmosphere was vintage Victorian. It is now home to Second City, a shopping center and other retail and dining options.