The Church of the Atonement has been an important part of the Edgewater community since 1888 when the parish was formed. The first services were held in the Guild Hall, then on the southwest corner of Bryn Mawr and Winthrop.
In 1889, the original church was built in the Norman-Gothic style on land donated by J.L. Cochran, the developer of Edgewater. The stone is Darlington stone. The architects were William Prettyman and Henry Ives Cobb. Prettyman designed and executed the murals in the chancel and side walls of the church.
The church continued to grow, not only in the size of the congregation, but also structurally. The original architects had provided for an addition to the building. In 1910, the first addition was made. J.E.O. Pridmore was the architect for this addition. John Pridmore lived from 1864 to 1940. He worked as an architect for 50 years and was a member of the AIA. He came to Chicago from England, where he was born and educated. Mr. Pridmore lived nearby and was very active in the church. He specialized in church and theater architecture. Pridmore was the architect of several apartment buildings in Edgewater including the Manor House. In 1919, Pridmore designed the most significant changes at the Church of the Atonement. In this second addition, the roof was raised 18 feet and the narthex added to the front of the building. In 1923, he also designed the Parish House to the south of the church.
In 1912, the Chapel, made of English cathedral oak, was designed by Wake and Dean of London. The altar is of Italian marble with the mosaics by Simpson and Sons of London.
In 1970, the church received an Elizabethan room from the Spencer family of Sharon, Connecticut. The room was originally in the Cumberland House in England and was shipped to the Weatherstone House in Sharon in the 1690’s. When Weatherstone was remodeled, this room was removed and sent to the church. The estate in Sharon was once the home of Cotton Mather Smith. This historical room provides a beautiful setting for small receptions and meetings.
Through the years the Church of the Atonement has maintained its presence in Edgewater as an invaluable asset to the neighborhood by reaching out to serve the changing community.
The Edgewater Historical Society thanks the Church of the Atonement for their generous support in making this tour a success.