Just steps off of Michigan Avenue, is the Cathedral District, a vibrant neighborhood with a rich history. From a pioneer outpost to a premier residential, commerce and cultural center, the area surrounding the St. James Cathedral and Holy Name Cathedral has both reflected and shaped the history and spiritual life of Chicago.
One block west of the Magnificent Mile, the Cathedral District offers us a welcome relief from the congestion of Michigan Avenue. It extends to Dearborn Street on the west, Chicago Avenue on the north and Ontario Street on the south. It lay dormant until real estate developer Chris Carley and venture capitalist Richard Driehaus developed and rehabbed numerous historic properties. Carley spearheaded the vision for this area as a platform where residents, businesses and religious institutions could co-habitat in this historic area, making it one of the most interesting and vibrant districts in the city.
Today it remains one of the most coveted places in the city to live, work, worship, shop and dine. It is bordered by two iconic Cathedrals, the Holy Name Cathedral and the St. James Cathedral, both which contribute much to the community. They offer a number of programs year-round, but are bustling during the holiday season and a terrific place to go to get into the spirit of Christmas!
These Cathedrals come alive with music and celebration as they prepare for Christmas. There are still many concerts that you don’t want to miss if you are in town for the holidays. They have a talented professional choir that is on the level of the Chicago Symphony. St. James Cathedral has a Cathedral Concert Series: A Cathedral Christmas with services on Christmas Eve at 5PM (family), 9:30-10PM (Choral Prelude) and at 10PM (Christmas Service) and a 10AM mass on Christmas Day.
Holy Name Cathedral is hosting mass on Christmas Eve at 4pm & 6pm and on Christmas Day, a midnight mass ( get your ticket ahead of time), 7AM, 8:15AM, (8:30AM, 11AM, 12:30PM and 5;15PM. If you haven’t seen the newly remodeled Cathedral you are in for a treat.
Another icon in close proximity to the District is Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan & Delaware streets. They have just build an 80,000 sq. ft. addition that is open for tours Sunday, 12/16 at 9:15AM, 10:45AM, 12:15PM and 3:00PM. I hear that the new structure is magnificent. Fourth Presbyterian Church will also be hosting a number of holiday activities with their renowned choir, so check out their web site for more information
So, if you are looking for some relief from the hectic pace of the holiday season to recharge your spirit, walk over to the Cathedral District. Stop into one of the Cathedrals to listen to holiday music from the chamber choirs, grab a peppermint hot chocolate at the Omni Chicago Hotel over looking Michigan Avenue, or visit the Driehaus Museum. And don’t forget to buy your Jonathan Adler Christmas ornament or home specialty items for the holidays at Material Possessions!
Happy Holidays to you all!