Two parishes receive architecture awards for recent projects

By Chicago Catholic staff
Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Projects at two parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago this year received awards from the Chicago-Midwest Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

The Acanthus awards are presented each year by the institute. This year they were presented at a ceremony Oct. 11.

Conrad Schmitt Studios was honored in the preservation and restoration category for its work on the art and architecture of St. Mary of the Lake Church, part of St. Mary of the Lake and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

The company cleaned, preserved, restored and enhanced the artwork and architecture of the sanctuary in the 110-year-old church building.

Maddie Gruenke Trepton of Conrad Schmidt Studios said planning for the project started in 2020, but it was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Work was completed over several weeks starting just after Christmas 2022.

Designers pulled from existing themes in the church, she said, as they created new paintwork.

“We wanted the new decorative paint to feel as if it had always been there,” Gruenke Trepton said.

Architect Thomas N. Rajkovich was honored in the renovation and adaptive reuse category for his work transforming the former cry-room and daily Mass chapel at St. Theresa Parish into the Holy Face of Jesus Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. The chapel was dedicated in September 2022.

Rajkovich spoke about the care needed in designing an adoration chapel at the dedication, saying, “It should be a setting which is beautiful and strives towards the ideal. [The chapel] is designed to create a sacred space which singularly focuses your mind, your heart and your eyes on Christ in adoration or at Mass.”


  • architecture

Related Articles