Turn right at 60th Street and go four blocks west to Michigan
Avenue. Go one block south on Michigan to 61st Street, then turn east.
St. Anselm Church at the northeast corner of 61st and Michigan was
immortalized by James T. Farrell in his trilogy, Studs Lonigan. Founded
in 1909 by Irish Catholics, this parish built a new church in 1925. Pastor
Michael S. Gilmartin and his congregation fervently hoped that the $350,000
church would keep the neighborhood white. But four years after its dedication,
St. Anselm's claimed only a handful of white parishioners. In 1932 George
Cardinal Mundelein turned the church and school over to the Divine Word
Fathers, and St. Anselm's subsequently became a thriving black parish.
Like Corpus Christi, the other parish of Farrell's youth, St. Anselm's
is now the "old neighborhood" parish for hundreds of Chicago's
The above photograph shows the greystone apartment building at 5816
S. King Drive (now demolished) that was the home of James T. Farrell in
the early 1920s. In the second floor apartment overlooking Washington
park, young Farrell "dreamed
and resolved to write." Studs
Lonigan, as well as Farrell's Danny O'Neill novels, recreate
the Washington Park neighborhood in vivid detail.