If you are really into teeny tiny churches, I recommend checking out this list from Roadside America. But when it comes to huge churches, specifically the world’s tallest church spire and chapel, the Chicago Temple Building wins the title. Constructed in 1924 by the architectural firm of Holabird and Roche, the building shoots up more than 500 feet toward the heavens.
There has always been a church located at the corner of Clark and Washington since the city of Chicago was founded in the 1830s. Therefore, the First United Methodist Church of Chicago is the oldest church in the city. The current church houses three sanctuaries: a four-story congregation space that can hold a thousand people on the ground level, the second floor “Dixon Chapel”, and the top of the steeple known as “The Chapel in the Sky”. The “Sky Chapel” was installed in 1952 as a gift from Myrtle Walgreen in honor of her husband, the founder of the Walgreens chain of drugstores.
There are 173 steps from the elevator to the world’s highest worship space. The chapel itself is made of wood, which came from property owned by the Walgreens family. The sixteen stained glass windows depict scenes from the Old Testament and the life of Jesus as well as the original church building (a small log cabin) and the current one. The carved wood altar-front shows Jesus looking over the city of Chicago (or what Chicago looked like in the 1950s). The base of the steeple can only seat about 30 people, but that doesn’t stop couples from having weddings up here. So if you don’t know that many people and are looking to get hitched, I say look into this place.
Just below the “Sky Chapel” is the parsonage, occupying three floors of the spire, which is used as residential space by the church’s senior pastor. He has his own patio that looks over the Picasso in Daley Plaza and the rest of the city’s skyscrapers. Free tours of the “Sky Chapel” are offered Monday through Saturday at 2 pm and Sundays after each worship service.