original c. 1930's american depression era gethsemane missionary baptist church interior hanging neon light cross with intact transformers

Regular Price: $8,500.00

Special Price $5,000.00

Availability: In Stock

UR #:: UR-29727-19a

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Product Description

very unique and historically important all original interior hanging oversized neon light cross salvaged from the gethsemane missionary baptist church. the distinctive fully functional cross contains the body of jesus christ, along with the reverend's name on the bottom and a biblical passage along the top (the bottom neon segment was carefully removed for photographic purposes. the "can" sign is comprised entirely of pressed and folded galvanized steel with the original off-white enameled finish largely intact. the transformers are housed inside, with two detachable panels on the backside for access. when electrified, the can sign contains a vibrantly colored blue and orange neon light that glows brightly. the exact sign fabricator is not known. the hanging cross neon sign was likely installed in the church sometime in the 1930's (services began around 1936). the cross has hung in its place ever since, with little, if any changes or alterations made to the tuning and/or cross itself. the sign was suspended by chain - anchored into a structural beam above. the original turned and tapered ceiling canopy is included. the two and a half story pre-fire chicago brick building located at 1352 s. union street is one of the few buildings left standing after the wrecking ball, driven by urban renewal, destroyed nearly all of the maxwell street neighborhood in chicago. constructed as a private, german-speaking high school in 1869 (also served the neighboring zion evenagelical church - since demolished), it later became home to a romanian synagogue, an african-american church, and then briefly an arts center. designed by german architect augustus bauer (st. patrick’s church, tree studios), the german school (the city's first) is the only surviving example of bauer's work as a solo architect. the non-religious school was built of brick and stone with an interior containing six great recitation rooms. a small time capsule was placed inside a small vault within the original building cornerstone. by the turn of the century a romanian jewish congregation moved in, and converted the building into a synagogue in 1905. when the jewish congregation later moved to west to lawndale, the building became gethsemane missionary baptist church (established in 1935) with an african american congregation lead by reverend a. sharp. several alterations to the interior and exterior were made during this time, which included an apartment constructed in the rear of the building (1944) for reverend sharp to occupy, along with a newly-built facade in completed in 1945. the building remained in use as the gethsemane missionary baptist until 2002 as the last remaining protestant church in the maxwell street district. in addition, the church is the only extant building in the area that survived the great chicago fire of 1871 (and one of only 112 documented, pre-fire buildings still standing in chicago today) as of 2008, the church building has sat vacant. the neon cross measures 45 1/4 inches x 11 inches x 79 1/2 inches.