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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Times change. Mount Olive’s original 1920s design produced a building that reflected architectural trends of that era but that failed to meet 21st century needs. To fulfill our mission as a welcoming parish, the congregation voted unanimously to approve a two-phase building project expected to cost $1.2 million.

The first phase was a renovation of the Parish House. The aim was to create a more open and flexible social space that would expand the cramped narthex and invite the kind of lively fellowship that furthers Jesus’ work in the world. With offices moved to the north end of the building and a hallway eliminated, the Chapel Lounge, East Room and former offices have become a single, yet flexible fellowship space. New restrooms and a new galley kitchen were also installed. Upgrades to the organ, repairs of the Parish House roof and a remodeling of the main kitchen in the Undercroft were also part of the initial project. The cost of phase one—including a tithe to missions—cannot exceed $800,000.

The second phase, if approved, would include air conditioning or enhanced ventilation for the nave, chancel, organ loft and other parts of the main church building. The preferred plan is to sink geo-thermal wells in the parking lot and apply that energy to heating and cooling. The intent is to expand the use of our worship spaces during summer in a manner that is as “green” as possible.

If the budget allows, the second phase could also include renovating the undercroft dining room. Depending on cost estimates, additional fundraising may be needed to complete all of the work. Taken all together, Mount Olive’s commitment to this major project demonstrates its optimism and enthusiasm about continuing God’s work at 31st and Chicago.

Please contact us with questions or comments about the building project.



To furnish the new spaces, the Building Committee established design principles that emphasized flexibility and compatibility. Furniture pieces were selected based on their ability to be moved easily to accommodate various functions. Colors were chosen to blend into the overall project's color scheme. A “wish list” was established to allow members to buy pieces of furniture and art for the new rooms. Members wishing to contribute should consult the list posted in the office or contact the Vestry.


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