Dedicated in 1912, the Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church Complex consists of the former synagogue and social settlement house joined by a connecting wing. The complex opened as the third temple for Sinai Congregation, Chicago’s first Jewish reform congregation. The former synagogue complex was designed by the prominent and prolific Chicago architect Alfred Samuel Alschuler in 1909-1910 and completed in 1912. At Sinai, Alschuler designed an impressively broad and imposing façade with a classical monumentality that would be imitated across Chicago’s South Side synagogues in subsequent years. Sinai was one of the last synagogues designed by Alschuler in a popular Neoclassical style.
Despite a shift in demographics and religious affiliation in the Grand Boulevard community during the last century, the former Sinai Temple has remained a constant, serving as a center of religion, society, culture, and politics for 107 years. After World War II, the Sinai congregation sold the synagogue to the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago which reopened the complex as Corpus Christi High School. After 18 years, the high school closed and the complex was acquired by the current owner, Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, in 1962.
The complex continues to operate as a place of worship and a social center under Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church. The congregations that have called Alschuler’s masterpiece home have been stewards of his design, preserving the original architectural and character-defining features. In 1996, the Chicago Historic Resources Survey rated the building orange for its architectural and historical significance within its context of Grand Boulevard.