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Baha'i House of Worship, Wilmette

#14 of 135 in Historic Sites in Illinois
Religious Site · Architectural Building
The Baháʼí House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois (or Chicago Baháʼí Temple) is a Baháʼí temple in Wilmette, Illinois. It is the second Baháʼí House of Worship ever constructed and the oldest one still standing. It is one of eight continental temples, constructed to serve all of North America.
The temple was designed by French-Canadian architect Louis Bourgeois (1856–1930), who received design feedback from ʻAbdu'l-Bahá during a visit to Haifa in 1920. To convey the Baháʼí principle of the unity of religion, Bourgeois incorporated a variety of religious architecture and symbols. Although ʻAbdu'l-Bahá participated in a ground-breaking ceremony in 1912 that laid a cornerstone, construction began in earnest in the early 1920s and was delayed significantly through the Great Depression and World War II. Construction picked up again in 1947, and the temple was dedicated in a ceremony in 1953.

Baháʼí Houses of Worship are intended to include several social, humanitarian, and educational institutions clustered around the temple, although none have been built to such an extent. The temples are not intended as a local meeting place, but are instead open to the public and used as a devotional space for people of any faith.

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465 reviews
  • The Baha'i House of Worship is really very stunning. There is a parking lot by the visitor center. The center is beautifully done and has educational materials to help you better understand the...  more »
  • Pretty grounds around a beautiful building. It's worth a stop on your way to or from Chicago. The interior wasn't open the day we stopped, but the gardens around it are very pretty, and the weather....  more »
  • Very beautiful place and open to all religions.. Very well maintained.. Will definitely be back to look in detail as we were short on time today for our visit. A reason most definitely to come back to Chicago!
  • A good place to meditate upon open to all your religions. Massive structure well maintained. Clean environment and elegant structures. The art work is really good for our eyes to view. It has a good garden around the building with fountain.
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