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Bricks Falling From Deteriorating St. James Temple As It Waits For Landmark Status Has Residents Concerned

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A historic Chicago church is falling apart brick by brick, and the people who live nearby call it a public safety concern.

CBS 2 found people filing complaints about the deterioration of St. James Temple for months.

The church is now a far cry from the building Wanda White first called a neighbor 40 years ago.

"It used to be a vibrant church," she said.

But there's nothing vibrant about vacancy and falling chunks of facade, now rubble on the ground out front.

White crosses the street, so she doesn't have to walk past it.

"I don't go this way because I'm afraid of it," she said.

With all the piles falling down Friday, a call to the city led to caution tape and cones to keep people off the sidewalk. But it's not the first time.

"Because it's falling bricks," neighbor Shaun Rudder said.

According to the formal complaints, people started complaining about bricks flying from the sky and falling into the public way in December.

"It might roll over, chip off, something. Hit a kid! Hit one of these cars. Bust their window. Anything," Rudder said.

"Why no one came and did anything but put yellow tape up? I have no idea," White said.

According to the Chicago Department of Buildings, the historic church is being considered for landmark status. A representative for the department said there is a live order of demolition for the church, but it hasn't been rushed because of the possible status.

"To heck with the landmark! It needs to come down. It's very scary. It's unsafe," White said.

A building inspector was at the church Friday, but that report hasn't been released yet. The department will evaluate whether is poses a serious risk, then possibly move forward with demolition.


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