Anshe Kanesses Israel was built in 1913 by Russian Jewish immigrants.
Historians say that in its heyday, it was the center of Jewish life on the West Side.
After Jewish families left the Lawndale neighborhood, black families moved in, and the synagogue changed hands, becoming a Baptist Church where King spoke in 1965.
Today, the city's buildings department says the vacant structure is "in imminent danger of collapse."
The head of the advocacy group Preservation Chicago tells the Chicago Sun-Times that he hopes someone will save building.
Jonathan Fine says buildings like the synagogue tell stories but "vacant lots tell no tales."