Original Bowen School located
at 93rd and Houston, built 1876
To sites 26, 27 and 28
Continue north on Commercial Avenue
As you pass 95th Street you are leaving the community of South Deering and entering South Chicago.
|26) Saint Patrick's
Church (95th and Commercial Avenue - southeast corner)
Saint Patrick's was the oldest church on the southeast side and was founded in 1857. It originally stood at the location of the old Bowen School at 93rd and Houston Avenue. It is a territorial parish primarily for English speaking Catholics, mostly Irish. It was also the first Catholic church to be founded south of 31st Street, the southern boundary of the city at the time. In 1877 the parish moved to 95th and Commercial and took over a public school building. A fire destroyed the church in April 1903 and Father Martin Van de Laar hired architect William J. Brinkman to design a combination church and school building. Some of the parishioners wanted the church moved north to where more development had been occurring and they were not particularly happy with the design of the building which they called the "shoe factory" because it resembled a factory building. A plain three story brick building was dedicated on July 9, 1903. At one time (1916) the elementary school of the parish had over 900 pupils and the parish had a coeducational high school which opened in 1889.
27) Original Bowen School ( 93rd and Houston)
The original Bowen High School was located on 93rd and Houston. It replaced the first school in the area, South Chicago School, in 1876. The original school served students of both elementary and high school grades. It eventually developed into a large public high school serving southeast side youths. Residents named the first Bowen School for James H. Bowen, the "Father of South Chicago." A new high school, Bowen High School, opened in 1910 and is located at 2710 East 89th Street. The school was an imitation of Schurz High School, a North Side landmark building designed by Dwight Perkins, a Prairie school contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright. The five-story, 1,400 student building, complete with metal shops, laboratories, and an 818 seat auditorium, cost roughly $600,000 to construct. The site of the original Bowen (pictured above) is now a vacant lot across the street from the South Chicago Fire Station.