The architectural beauty of Epiphany Center for the Arts offers a refreshing respite from the steel, glass and concrete structures of Chicago’s city skyline. In fact, the decorative terra cotta tiles, Venetian glass mosaics and arched trusses make this setting one of the most visually stunning venues in the city. Housed inside a former Episcopal church, the performance and event venue has called the site on which it stands home since 1885, so it’s no surprise that the place has lived many lives over the past 138 years.
Located a short walk from Rush University and United Center, Epiphany Center for the Arts can be found right in the hub of the city. Being so well-situated, it’s easy to find your way to the venue. The closest train stops are Ashland Pink/Green Line L and Racine Blue L, and you can also get there on the the 9, 20 and 126 bus.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Epiphany Center for the Arts
1. The venue was first built as a church to serve the locals
In 1885, stone imported from Lake Superior and envisions of avant-garde architecture formed a new church to replace a more modest structure struggling to accommodate for its blossoming popularity. The fortress-like Church of the Epiphany and its iconic bell tower long stood high above the 18th century West Loop skyline, and this impressive feature can still be appreciated today.
2. Revamps and reconstructions have helped return the venue to its former glory
Despite becoming a National Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, the church was decommissioned in 2011 and later listed as permanently closed. New owners then stepped in with intentions of resurrecting the former church, and the historic 19th-century structure was revamped and reopened once again as Epiphany Center for the Arts in 2020.
3. Catacombs lie beneath
Nestled beneath the venue’s breathtakingly beautiful Epiphany Hall lies the catacombs that date back to the late 1800s. This quaint area of the venue takes elegance and sophistication to the next level, with features that include a gorgeous vaulted ceiling, stained glass windows, vintage chandeliers and more. Thanks to this place’s spectacular architecture and sense of grandeur, many loved-up couples actually choose this part of the venue to host their special day.
What can you do at Epiphany Center for the Arts?
Epiphany Center for the Arts hosts a wide range of programs and events that cater to people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the year. When planning their events, they collaborate with nonprofits, museums, charities and activists to come up with a diverse programming that explores issues surrounding LGBTQ rights, gun violence, mental health therapy and much more. They also host plenty of art exhibitions with fabulous installations, sculptures, photographs, paintings and more.
The architectural glory of Epiphany Center for the Arts has been untouched, the raw beauty found within remains, but the heart of the building beats on more alive than ever before, only now “for the good of art, entertainment, and events.”
Once upon a time, this magnificent venue also hosted the magical Candlelight series. While we wait for more concerts to be announced inside this stunning setting, you can catch one of these unforgettable music tributes inside other spectacular venues across Chicago.