This building owned by the Unification Church (aka the Moonies) is still boarded up after a fire in October caused by a space heater. Mansions on Sheridan Road in the RP just can't get no respect nowadays. One was famously torn down for the Tawani parking garage and now this beauty suffered needless damage because of insufficient heat.
Moonies' monies are significant worldwide. The problem with large organizations whether they be religious or corporate is lack of oversight and personal attention. An example of a well loved, well cared for and well attended church is the Apostolic Church at Ashland and Touhy. Compare that to the official Unification Church of Chicago at Estes and Ashland which is usually a ghost town.
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Whoever built this grand house would be rolling over in their grave if they knew that it was now being treated so poorly. Hopefully the Unification Church will decide to use some of their wealth to restore what properties they do own or just sell off those they can't care for. Most of the time their properties look vacant, dead and unused. That brilliant blue bus sits unmoving for months at a time.
The way to build a congregation is outreach, programs, parades, invitations, etc, etc. Can anyone remember the last time the Unification Church did that in Rogers Park? At the present time it just looks like land banking. Their Facebook page is totally dead. Two reviews on their Yelp page. One by our very own Bill Morton who remarked in 2007 (he reviewed everything in Rogers Park that year) that he did meet Mr. Moon before his recent death in 2012.
Diversity of people, thought, opinion, and status make Rogers Park one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city of Chicago. It would be great if the Unification Church had a more visible presence in the community. Churches help people find their way, sometimes just feeding and clothing them.
The Unification Church has such a low profile in Rogers Park that most people don't even know they are here. Contrast that with the colorful Hare Krishna Temple on Lunt. They famously march up and down the community throughout the year and hold a festive parade annually right here in Rogers Park.