Holy Name Cathedral

Church in Near North & Navy Pier

Holy Name Cathedral is the seat of Chicago’s Catholic Church and where its powerful cardinals do their preaching. It provides a quiet place for contemplation, unless the excellent choirs are practicing, in which case it’s an entertaining respite. Check out the sanctuary’s ceiling while you’re inside. The hanging red hats are for Holy Name’s deceased cardinals; the hats remain until they turn to dust.

Built in 1875 to a design by the unheralded Patrick Keely, the neo-Gothic cathedral has been remodeled several times, most recently after a fire in 2009. Thus the bullet holes from a Capone-era hit outside the church are no longer visible. Actually, a couple of gangland killings took place near here. In 1924, North Side boss Dion O’Banion was gunned down in his florist shop (738 N State St) after he crossed Al Capone. In 1926, his successor, Hymie Weiss, died en route to the cathedral in a hail of bullets that came from the window at 740 N State St.

The cathedral is open most of the day and holds frequent services.