St. Mary of the Angels
A landmark of Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, St. Mary of the Angels Parish was dedicated by Cardinal (formerly known as an Archbishop) George Mundelein in 1920. The congregation was established by Polish immigrants in 1897. This structure replaced a previous church and took many years to construct due to the outbreak of World War I.
Backstory and Context
Immigrants of Polish descent arrived in Chicago and established communities in Bucktown and other communities that had previously been open fields and pasture lands. (residents called male goats, "bucks," which led this area to be called Bucktown). Although Polish immigrants grew to include a significant portion of Chicago's overall population, they often enjoyed less business and political influence than immigrants from German states and other European nations and principalities.
The Polish population grew steadily and by, 1899, St. Mary of the Angels Parish became one of the five Catholic parishes on the northwest side of Chicago organized by the Resurrectionist Fathers which grew out of St. Stanislaus Parish.
The building was designed by architect Henry Schlacks, and modeled on some aspects of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Several additions have taken place since that time, and in the 1930’s, the auditorium became known as the “Polish Aragon Ballroom” as hundreds attended weekly dances and concerts.
"History," St. Mary's of the Angels Website. http://sma-church.org/about-us/history/ . Accessed, 2017.
Pacyga, Dominic A. Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers on the South Side, 1880-1922. University of Chicago Press, 1991.
--- --- ---. "Poles," Encyclopedia of Chicago. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/982.html. Accessed, 2017.