Forgotten Chicagoans: Henry Worthmann

Above the doorway on the building at 1859 W. Chicago Avenue in West Town reads “H. WORTHMANN BUILDING.”

Henry W. Worthmann was born around June 18, 1857 in Hanover, Germany. He arrived in the United States in 1882 and he became a naturalized citizen in 1888. That same year, he married his wife, Agnes. He soon began his career as an architect and partnered with John Neebe down the street at 1821 W. Chicago Avenue.

By 1900, he had left split with Neebe and worked out of this building, built in 1889. In 1903, he began another partnership with John J. Steinbach. Together, Worthmann and Steinbach were architects of many of the great Polish cathedrals in Chicago. Their more notable churches include St. Mary of the Angels in Bucktown, the Basilica of St. Hyacinth in Avondale and Holy Innocents in the East Village. They also designed the Hollenbach building on Lake Street.

They soon opened a second office in Oak Park and, after a decade or so, they moved their business to a new location downtown at 155 N. Clark Street. Worthmann had also moved back to Chicago and lived at 921 Eastwood Avenue in Uptown.

He became a widower in 1932 when Agnes died. He died twelve years later on April 11, 1946. They are buried at St. Luke's Cemetery.

In recent news, St. John's Church Lutheran Church in Ukrainian Village, designed by Worthmann & Steinbach, will likely be converted into upscale condos.

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