Fourth Presbyterian Church

Situated on a premier site on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, this historic church required a sensitive addition – one that would neither mimic nor overwhelm it – to integrate many long-needed facilities for its 6,200-person congregation.



  • Chicago, Illinois, USA



Project Status

  • Completed

Resolving Challenges

Structural engineers from WSP USA worked closely with the Gensler-led design team to deftly resolve the programming and technical challenges presented by the need to fit all required spaces into a structure rising less than the original church’s sanctuary. Our team responded to the intricate and specific needs of the project, including significant long-span conditions that required structure for multiple levels of spaces over the chapel.


Expanding Facilities

Working on a tight lot, the ground floor of the new addition is set back 28 feet to create public space, with the rest of the building’s stories cantilevered overhead. The new addition provides 22 classrooms, a dining hall and kitchen, an outdoor patio and play area, and a 350-person chapel sized for weddings, funerals and concerts.