Exterior of the Portage Theatre, circa 1962 / photo from the collections of Theatre Historical Society of America

Church withdraws attempt to buy historic Portage Theater [Chicago, IL]

BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter/July 19, 2012 4:48PM

Exterior of the Portage Theatre, circa 1962 / photo from the collections of Theatre Historical Society of America

Bowing to opposition from Northwest Side neighbors and city officials, a church said Thursday it has withdrawn its attempt to buy the 92-year-old Portage Theater at 4050 N. Milwaukee.

The Chicago Tabernacle also said it has withdrawn its attempt to rezone the property so it could adapt it for its congregation. Neighborhood residents fought the plan, arguing that the theater was a cultural asset they didn’t want to lose.

 They also said the theater is an important part of the Six Corners shopping district and that adding a church to the mix would hurt surrounding businesses.

 City officials dealt the church a blow by putting the theater on track toward landmark status. The decision would have barred the church from making extensive alterations.

 In a brief statement, the tabernacle, 4201 N. Troy, said it is in “final negotiations” for another site.

 “This has been a long and arduous process and we are glad to see progress in the search for a new home for our church family that better suits our needs,” the statement said.

 For the full story, go to http://www.suntimes.com/business/13877743-418/church-withdraws-attempt-to-buy-historic-portage-theater.html

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