This fall, our studio project for the School of Architecture was to design a 500-700-seat parish church for a site at 1500 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, a lot currently occupied by the 1997 Old St. Mary's Church, a ministry of the Paulist Fathers originally founded in 1833. Old St. Mary's was begun shortly before the housing boom in the area led to a massive upsurge in gentrification. Land prices have shot up and a large number of urban professionals and young families have begun to make their home there. As a consequence, any church placed on the site has a golden opportunity to evangelize.
The associated sketches and pictures can be found here (pictures copyright Matthew Alderman).
Really though, I must admit that if I had a billion US dollars to my name, social justice would not be at the top of my list of priorities (a failing, I know), but rather I would be spending on projects like Matthew's in a bid to ressurrect the church as an art form, from the cathedral down to the local parish church.