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The History of Sacred Heart


In 1876, just five years after the Great Chicago Fire, Mother Elizabeth Tucker and three other Religious of the Sacred Heart arrived here from St. Louis to open a school for young women.

They found a bustling town, intent on rebuilding and moved into a small house on Dearborn Street, which their school quickly outgrew. The sisters joined the building boom, erecting a building on the corner of State Street and Chicago Avenue, adjacent to Holy Name Cathedral. At this new facility, the Religious operated two schools. The Academy, which had an enrollment of approximately 100, and a parish school, known as the Cathedral School, whose enrollment soon swelled to more than 650. 

In 1904, due to the growing enrollment, the nuns relocated their schools to a large residence on North Clark Street.

In 1907, the Religious purchased twin houses on Pine Grove Avenue, only blocks from Lake Michigan and within walking distance of Wrigley Field.

With even greater burgeoning enrollment, the Religious decided in the spring of 1927 to build our current school building at 6250 North Sheridan Road.

The large double gymnasium, the Campbell Building, was added in 1967 and the Rosemont addition was built the following year. Sacred Heart then consisted of the Academy of the Sacred Heart (an all-girls high school and an all-girls elementary school) and Hardey Preparatory (an all-boys elementary school).

In May 2004, a four-story, 33,000 sq. ft academic wing known as Sheridan South was dedicated by Francis Cardinal George. It added science and computer labs, a new library, multi-purpose meeting room, 12 classrooms and a rooftop playground.

Currently, Sacred Heart Schools enrolls 700 students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

The Beginnings of Hardey Preparatory

In September 1929, a few boys joined the girls in the school. Soon, however, the parents of these boys began to desire the establishment of a boys school.

In 1935, Reverend Mother Rosalie Hill established Hardey Preparatory School for Boys, named in honor of Mother Aloysia Hardey, one of the first and most influential American-born Religious of the Sacred Heart.  Learn about the life of Mother Hardey (1809-1886) in this booklet.

Network of Sacred Heart Schools

Sacred Heart Network Map

Sacred Heart Schools on Sheridan Road are one of a network of 24 schools in the United States and Canada founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart. They belong to an international Network of more than 150 Sacred Heart schools in 30 countries.

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