Moving to Chicago: How About Living in a Historic Synagogue?

Uptown’s Agudas Achim Synagogue in Chicago before turning into 40 residences. Flickr Creative Commons/Mike Boening Photography
Uptown’s Agudas Achim Synagogue in Chicago before turning into 40 residences. Flickr Creative Commons/Mike Boening Photography
Agudas Achim Synagogue in Chicago before turning into residences. Flickr Creative Commons / Mike Boening Photography

Chicago is not the first city to turn historic buildings into trendy apartments, but its dwellings may be among some of the most unique. The Cedar Street Companies’ FLATS® development line has been steadily transforming notable Chicago properties into modern apartment complexes while retaining the character of the historic buildings. There are currently, as of March 2019, eight FLATS® buildings open for occupation, including the firm’s latest project “The Synagogue;” two more properties (“The Alfred” and “The Henry”) are scheduled to open soon.

All of the FLATS® buildings are considered to be adaptive reuse of historic buildings. The firm works to restore the exteriors and maintain the elements of the structure that give it its soul. “The Synagogue” is an Uptown property located at Kenmore and Argyle, just blocks from the picturesque Chicago lakefront.

The original structure, formerly known as “Agudas Achim Synagogue,” was built in the 1920s and remained in service as a house of worship, education, and community until 2008. The developer preserved the original stained glass and arched windows while upgrading the interior to modern studios and one-bedroom apartments. Exposed brick walls and luxury appliances give each apartment a charming but chic feel. The apartments feature in-unit laundry, WiFi, parking, bike room and are pet-friendly. Studios and one-bedroom apartments start at $1,550 and $1,660, respectively.

The same firm renovated “The Bush Temple” building located at 108 W Chicago Ave in River North. It was originally built in French Renaissance Revival-style architecture in 1901 and housed the famous “Bush Temple of Music” before serving as an office building and now apartments.

Old photo of the Bush Temple of Music in River North, Chicago.
Old photo of the “Bush Temple of Music” in River North, Chicago.

This larger property offers more amenities such as a rooftop, gym and boxing club, bar, and coffee shop as well as studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The Bush Temple apartment in River North, Chicago.
The Bush Temple in River North, Chicago

Although there are many places to live in Chicago, buildings such as “The Synagogue” and “The Bush Temple” give residents a chance to be a part of history without sacrificing any comfort.