Check Out This Lavish, Abandoned Gothic Revival Church in Detroit
This incredible church is the Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church, closed since the mid-2000s.
The church was organized by Dec. 10 1907 and was admitted by the Presbytery on March 17, 1908. The church's first minister was Sherman L. Divine, installed on Nov. 5, 1908. Thanks to Reverend Divine's grand plan of an incredible sanctuary, the cost was approximately $100,000, around 2.5 million dollars today.
A cornerstone was placed on January 1, 1910, with a cache full of treasures including coins, Bibles, the constitution of the Presbyterian Church of the USA, the Detroit Free Press of Dec. 31, 1909, and more goodies. sealed inside. Finally, the church was dedicated June 25, 1911 and by the end of that year, the church had 742 members.
So what happened to cause the decline?
Middle class families began finding life in the suburbs and left the city. Without many members of the congregation, how could it stay afloat? The remaining congregation did not want to leave and the church was in great disrepair – and not enough funds for upkeep. The church was able to last a few years longer until the death of its pastor, Rev. Gary M. Douglas Jr. in 2005.
Court battles over his estate among his family and the church did not help matters. The church kept deteriorating, holes in the roof, walls, and floors kept growing. The church finally shut down.
Knowing the building was now abandoned, looters, trespassers, and vandals came in and started desecrating it even worse. An attempt was made in 2009 to raise funds, fix it up, and re-open in 2010.....not enough was raised and it still sits deserted and deteriorating to this day.
Abandoned Gothic Church, Detroit
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