This project features educational virtual reality walkthroughs of two of Chicagoland's historically and artistically important sacred sites: First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest, and Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago.
We chose these sites for their historic, architectural, and religious value. First Presbyterian Church is linked to the founding of the town of Lake Forest as well as Lake Forest College, and is the oldest religious institution in this Chicagoland suburb.
Historic Pilgrim Baptist Church was destroyed by fire in 2006, but had served as one of the most important African American churches in Chicago's "Black Belt." Here, the Gospel Music tradition of the 1930s emerged and flourished, and later it became a center of Chicago's part in the Civil Rights Movement.
These two sites show a historical trajectory of religion in Chicagoland, both in the city and its suburbs. Together they are two of the oldest and most important of the region's Protestant Churches.
We also include a tour of a smaller sacred space, the Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel at Lake Forest College.
On this site, you can tour these sacred sites in 360°, "walking through" the spaces to look at different parts of the buildings (and in the case of Pilgrim Baptist and the Lily Reid Holt Chapel, different time periods). Within the tours, click on or select various features to learn about their historic, architectural, and religious meanings.