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Gospel Group Proposes Chicago Gospel Museum

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 2, 2006 3:56PM

A group known as Gospel Music Capitol of the World Productions wants the City of Chicago to purchase and restore the Chicago Defender building and use it to house an International Gospel Museum.

(We know this might be the pot calling the kettle black, but shouldn’t that be Gospel Music C-A-P-I-T-A-L Of The World Productions?)

The release cites a recent Chicago Sun-Times article that quotes David Bahlman, president of the former Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, who expresses concern that a Chicago winter will freeze the pipes in the building, leading to irreparable damage. The Defender building was designed in 1936 by Prairie School architect Philip Maher. It is part of a landmark row of buildings known as the Motor Row District.

The group trumpets Chicago as the home of gospel, thanks to such originators as Thomas A. Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson and the Soul Stirrers (featuring Sam Cooke). Of course, an International Gospel Music Fall of Fame and Museum already exists in Detroit, but we admire the organization’s moxie.

Chicagoist would like to take this opportunity to urge the City of Chicago to purchase and restore the Artful Dodger building (complete with taps), and use it to house the new Chicagoist offices.

What? Too late? Guess there's always Monk's.