Essential Architecture-  Chicago Loop North

Medinah Temple


Huehl & Schmid


600 N. Wabash Ave.




Moorish Revival




One of the most distinctive buildings on the Near North Side of Chicago, Medinah Temple is considered one of the nation's finest examples of a Middle Eastern-style Shrine temple. The plethora of Islamic and Middle Eastern ornament on the temple's exterior gives it a sense of exotic fantasy well-suited to the Shrine rituals for which the building was constructed.

Built to house a 4,200-seat auditorium for the Chicago chapter of the national Shrine fraternal organization, the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the four-story building covers the eastern half of a city block bounded by Wabash, Ontario, State and Ohio streets. Its unique Islamic Revival style is conveyed through the design of the entrances and many of the second-floor windows framed within horseshoe-shaped arches, common details on such Spanish Moorish buildings as the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra Palace complex in Granada. Intricate patterns of geometric forms or stylized plants-referred to as "arabesques"-form decorative surrounds around doors and windows. Much of the building's ornament is architectural terra cotta produced by the Midland Terra Cotta Company of Chicago, its finish roughly textured to appear handmade.


With special thanks to the City of Chicago website, , for much of the info on this page.
Photos copyright City of Chicago.