First Presbyterian Church - Detroit, MI
Posted by: S5280ft
N 42° 20.660 W 083° 03.355
17T E 330651 N 4690055
Quick Description: This magnificent sandstone structure is now the home of the Ecumenical Theological Seminary. It is located on the northeast side of Woodward Avenue. Parking is available.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 5/15/2007 7:57:43 PM
Waymark Code: WM1J1P
From the State of Michigan Historic Preservation Office website.
First Presbyterian Church is a large cruciform plan Richardsonian Romanesque building with walls of red rough-cut sandstone. A massive square tower rising from the cross forms the main, central portion of the structure. The tower, which is buttressed by corner turrets, features tall clerestory windows and is topped by a steep slate covered hip-roof broken by gabled dormers. Short transept arms feature large rose windows in their gable-fronts and are flanked by rectangular extensions. One of the transepts is fronted by an ornate rib-arched triple entrance decorated with variegated, geometric, and organic designs in the spandrals adding a byzantine flavor. Many stained glass windows light the interior of the church including one depicting St John of Patmos by Tiffany and Company.
Statement of Significance
First Presbyterian Church was built by the oldest Protestant congregation in Michigan. The building is also the finest work of Detroit architect George DeWitt Mason. Completed between 1889 and 1891, First Presbyterian has undergone many alterations but has retained its historic integrity. The first modification was the addition of a three-story brick rear extension in 1910, connected to the church by a brick passageway. The most significant alteration to the structure was the relocation of the main entrance, completed according to plans by Mason in 1936. An additional entrance was added in 1953 by Detroit's William Kapp, but it did not greatly alter the appearance of the church.
Michigan Historical Marker [missing]
This building is the fourth home of the First Presbyterian Church, the continuing congregation of the First Protestant Society of Detroit, which was formally incorporated in 1821. The society was organized in 1816 by the Reverend John Monteith, a twenty-eight-year-old graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, who in 1817 helped found and became the first president of what is now the University of Michigan. This Romanesque-style edifice, designed by George D. Mason and Zachariah Rice, was dedicated in 1891. Its congregation, one of the oldest Protestant ones in the state, established Detroit's Harper Hospital in 1861. In 1911 the adjoining "church house" was completed for educational and social activities.
Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 01/01/1891
Age of Church building determined by?: Other reliable source
If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Presbyterian
Street address of Church:
2930 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI U.S.A.
Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]
Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]
If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: Not listed
If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Not listed
Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: Not Listed
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