Concerts in Evanston
Lovely First United Methodist Church in Evanston is home to nearly all Music of the Baroque performances. Its convenient location in the heart of Evanston makes it a great option for audience members from North Shore suburbs and Chicago’s north side. With a three-quarter wraparound balcony, First United Methodist permits music lovers to choose from several different viewing perspectives. It seats 900.
- Get map & driving directions »
- From the North:
South on Sheridan, right on Davis, right on Hinman. Or south on Sheridan, bear right on Chicago Avenue, left on Church Street.
- From the Northwest:
I-94 (Edens) to Old Orchard Road east, at dead end turn right on Crawford, left on Church Street.
- From the South:
Lake Shore Drive north, continue to Sheridan; Sheridan will jog north and west several times until the “T” at Davis; turn left on Davis, right on Chicago, right on Church Street.
- From the West:
I-294 (Tri-State) to Dempster, east to Hinman, turn left to church.
City parking lot at the corner of Church Street and Chicago Avenue (free after 6 pm) or street parking.
- CTA Travel:
(Information at 312.836.7000 or CTA website):
Purple Line elevated train to Davis, east 3 blocks to Hinman, north 1 block to church.
Quince Restaurant at the Homestead
- 1625 Hinman Avenue, Evanston
valet parking available
Other Nearby Restaurants:
- 815 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
- Dave’s Italian Kitchen
- 1635 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
No reservations: 847.864.6000
- Davis Street Fishmarket
- 501 Davis Street, Evanston
valet parking available
- 1631 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
- 505 Main Street, Evanston
- Tapas Barcelona
- 1615 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
516 Church Street, Evanston
About First United Methodist Church
The present building of First United Methodist Church was designed by architect and church member Thomas Eddy Tallmadge; construction started in 1911. (Tallmadge also designed another Music of the Baroque venue, Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest.) The Gothic sanctuary of the Evanston church is largely the result of an extensive remodeling in 1930, also under the guidance of Tallmadge. The off-center middle aisles became a formal central aisle, stained glass replaced the original amber windows, and the western rose window was reset in stone tracery. A fifteenth-century French Gothic clergy stall and a new white Italian marble baptismal font were installed. With added balconies (definitely not Gothic), seating capacity was increased.
Two features of the remodeled sanctuary are outstanding. The leaded glass windows by Powell & Sons of London are intricately detailed and richly colored. In the east Te Deum window, Christ is clothed in regal crimson, which was achieved with metallic gold in the glass. Lapis lazuli created the luminous blue of Mary’s robes. Signs located on columns adjacent to the tall two-story aisle windows identify the great Christians who are portrayed in them. The first window east of the north transept honors Frances E. Willard, the renowned reformer and educator who was also an active member of the church.
The ornately carved white oak reredos (ornamental screen behind the altar), designed by Ralph Adams Cram, was created by Swiss and German craftsmen working for Irving and Casson in Boston. It portrays moments in the life of Christ preaching in the side panels, in the Garden of Gethsemane at bottom center, and rising from the tomb in the scene above. At the top of the reredos, two angels hold a shield depicting a ship, an early symbol of the Christian church. The oak leaf (symbol of Evanston) appears throughout the building.
First United Methodist Church was founded in 1854 by John Evans, who also established Northwestern University and the town that is his namesake.