Demolition Begins on 'Rooftop Pastor' Motel in Chicago

Pastor Corey Brooks joined supporters Monday to prepare the old Super Motel for demolition

By Charlie Wojciechowski and Lisa Balde
|  Monday, Mar 19, 2012  |  Updated 7:23 PM CDT
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Monday was demolition day for the abandoned south side motel where Pastor Corey Brooks held a three-month rooftop vigil. Brooks joined members of Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), pastors, college students and elected officials as they got started leveling the building to make room for a community center.

Monday was demolition day for the abandoned south side motel where Pastor Corey Brooks held a three-month rooftop vigil. Brooks joined members of Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), pastors, college students and elected officials as they got started leveling the building to make room for a community center.

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Pastor on Roof Comes Down, Thanks to Tyler Perry

After camping atop a south side motel roof for more than three months, Pastor Corey Brooks on Friday evening boarded a scissor lift and was lowered to the street and greeted by a celebratory crowd.

Rev. Brooks Comes Down From Roof, Expresses Gratitude

After camping atop a south side motel roof for more than three months, Pastor Corey Brooks on Friday evening boarded a scissor lift and was lowered to the street and greeted by a celebratory crowd. Brooks was on the roof for 94 days as part of a pledge to raise $450,000 to purchase the land and build a community center across from his New Beginnings Church in the 6600 block of South Martin Luther King Drive.
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The former Super Motel where Pastor Corey Brooks held a 94-day rooftop vigil is coming down.

Brooks joined members of Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), pastors, college students and elected officials Monday to prepare the abandoned motel at 6625 S. Martin Luther King Dr. for demolition.

"I had a group that wanted to come. We had a week. They paid money to come pay work, and in my mind that doesn't make sense, but in God's economy that works. So he brought us up here and here we are," said Brent Corbin from the University of Tulsa.

Brooks, who became known as Chicago's "rooftop pastor," ended his stay atop the old motel in February after actor-director Tyler Perry donated the rest of a $450,000 pledge aimed to purchase the land and build a community center across from New Beginnings Church.

Perry donated $100,000, and another anonymous donor, described as a Christian businessman from Chicago, donated $85,000 for the project.

Another $15 million must be raised to build the community center, which will feature mixed income housing, commercial spaces and the New Beginnings Church's "Master Academy."

"Fifteen million dollars is a lot of money but there are a lot of people with compassion and a lot of people who understand what we're trying to do and I have no doubt we're going to reach the goal," said Brooks.

Architectural firm Perkins+Will has agreed to design the community center pro bono.

Brooks held a demolition party this month, to mark the beginning of what many hope will be a rebirth of the Englewood community.

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