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The tallest and most massive church structure in the world, the Chicago Temple is home to the First United Methodist Church which is the most antiquated religious group in Chicago City formed in 1831. As with any other church congregation, the First United Methodist Church started out with a few members doing their worship services in each of their respective houses. The congregation grew in number and soon enough, a simple cabin was constructed north of Chicago River. This cabin was brought across the river to sit at the corner of Clark and Washington streets.

After World War I, many suggested that the religious congregation move to the suburbs. But they opted to stay put in what they call the ?Methodist Corner? following architect Daniel Burnham who stated the famous maxim to ?aim high in hope and work? and to ?think big.? As more people sought for membership in the First United Methodist Church, they realized they needed a ?big and tall? building to accommodate their growing number.

They commissioned the architectural company Holabrid and Roche and gave them a simple instruction: to create a place of worship which is "Gothic in structure, with a churchly tower, a radiant cross at its pinnacle." The temple or will then be more popularly known as the ?City Temple? was completed in 1923 and towered at 568 feet. It reigned as the tallest building in Chicago and the tallest skyscraper in the United States not found in New York City until 1930. The ground floor of the building, a bi-level sanctuary, can hold 1,200 church goers at a time. On the second floor of the building is a smaller worship venue called the Dixon Chapel.

Hanging above the main alter of the Chicago Temple is an elaborate wood carving of Jesus Christ crying over Jerusalem. The temple also boasts of beautiful stained glass windows depicting the events in the Bible?s old and new testaments and honoring the heritage of the temple and of downtown Chicago. The Chicago Temple was augmented with another chapel in 1952 situated at 400 feet above street level just below the temple?s steeple courtesy of the Walgreen family, a drugstore business royalty in Chicago. Just like in the ground floor, a wood carving of Jesus hangs over its altar featuring a crying Jesus, but this time, over Chicago and not Jerusalem. This high altitude chapel is usually used for intimate occasions and small weddings.

Aside from regular worship services for its members, the Chicago Temple also hosts several events that are open to the public such as concerts and stage plays.
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