Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist

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Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist (Chicago, Illinois).jpg
41°53′13″N 87°37′33″W / 41.887065°N 87.625876°W / 41.887065; -87.625876Coordinates: 41°53′13″N 87°37′33″W / 41.887065°N 87.625876°W / 41.887065; -87.625876
LocationChicago, Illinois
CountryUnited States
DenominationChristian Science
Architect(s)Harry Weese
Architectural typeModern

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist, built in 1968, is an award-winning modern style Christian Science church building located in The Loop at 55 East Wacker Drive, (at Wabash Avenue) in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. It was designed by noted Chicago-based architect Harry Weese, whose most famous work is the Washington Metro but who is remembered best as the architect who "shaped Chicago’s skyline and the way the city thought about everything from the lakefront to its treasure-trove of historical buildings."[1]

Built by Sumner Sollitt Construction Company of concrete in a circular design, the building has no windows in the interior amphitheater. .[2] Outside light comes through a skylight at the top of the oculus in the center of the conical roof. Pedestrian entrance to the building is via a bridge over a sunken garden, which Weese said "was for the benefit of the [subterranean] Sunday School, which didn't have any windows" but is lit through the garden by the light from the street level above. [3] The semicircular auditorium which seats 764 is designed so that no seat is more than 54 feet from the Readers' Platform, which is the focal point of all Christian Science church auditoriums. An invisible sound reinforcement system with 350 hidden microphones allows those in attendance at the Wednesday evening testimonial meetings to give testimonies without having to leave their seats.[4] Off street parking is provided by a subterranean parking garage.[5] A feature of the lower lobby is an acrylic painting on canvas entitled "Millenium Garden: Psalm 23,” completed by Chicago artist Anne Farley Gaines in 2001.[6] In 1996, Seventeenth Church received the 25 Year Award of the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.[2][3] In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, the Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places [7] by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois).

In film and television[edit]

The church's exterior was shown in the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon.[8]

The church's interior amphitheater was the set for the Choosing Ceremony scene in the 2014 film Divergent.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ Kamin, Blair (November 1, 1998). "Harry Weese, Visionary Architect Known as 'Chicago's Conscience'". Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^ a b "25 Year Award: Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist". 1996. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Oral History of Harry Mohr Weese". Art Institute of Chicago. March 4–24, 1988. p. 131. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  4. ^ Tappan, Peter W.; Ancha, Robert F. (June 1970). "-Invisible- Sound Reinforcement with 350 Microphones". Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Volume 18 Issue 3. Audio Engineering Society. pp. 309–314. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  5. ^ "Sacred Space". Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  6. ^ "Resume: Anne Farley Gaines". Anne Farley Gaines. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
  7. ^ Waldinger, Mike (January 30, 2018). "The proud history of architecture in Illinois". Springfield Business Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Real Estate And Religion: The Tale Of Seventeenth Church Of Christ, Scientist | WBEZ". Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  9. ^ Burger, Neil (2014-03-21), Divergent, retrieved 2016-04-24
  10. ^ "Divergent". Retrieved 2016-04-24.

External links[edit]