Holy Family raising funds to restore doors
November 3, 2011
Ed Kolpacki (left) and Kevin Barnoski of National Decorating Co. painting the doors of Holy Family Church. (Photo by Troy T Heinzeroth)

Holy Family Church at 1080 W. Roosevelt Rd. has begun a fundraising campaign to restore its antique front doors.

“The doors are original to the church, so they’re 154 years old,” explained the Rev. Jerry Boland, parish administrator. “Sometimes in the winter they freeze and you can’t open them, and in the summer they shrink and you can’t lock them.”

The primary issue is public safety, Fr. Boland said. “The doors have 1860s hardware on them, which is very interesting to look at—but in the case of an emergency it’s very complicated to figure out how to open the doors.”

Administrators and parishioners hope to fit the antique doors with code-compliant hardware “so they’d have panic bars and all the features they should have for safety,” Fr. Boland said.

They also hope to restore the doors “so that they would resemble what they looked like in the 1860s,” he continued. “The doors have been beaten up by the weather and by the thousands of times they have been opened and closed, and they were really beginning to deteriorate. We wanted to restore them before it was too late.”

Cost of restoration will be about $150,000, and the church already has raised $70,000. Paul Borg Construction Co. is restoring and rebuilding the doors, and painters from National Decorating Co. will refinish and coat them. The doors weigh approximately 600 pounds each. “The Feast of the Epiphany is the traditional date that doors are blessed in the Catholic Church — doors to people’s homes and church doors,” Fr. Boland said. “We’re hoping to be able to have the project done so this particular Epiphany, Jan. 8, 2012, the doors of Holy Family can be blessed for 150 more years of great service.”

To donate, go to the church’s website at www.holyfamilychicago.org or call (312) 492-8442.

— William S. Bike