First Unitarian Church of Detroit

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First Unitarian Church of Detroit
First Unitarian Church Detroit 2.jpg
The First Unitarian Church in 2008
Location 2870 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°20′37.6″N 83°3′18.91″W / 42.343778°N 83.0552528°W / 42.343778; -83.0552528Coordinates: 42°20′37.6″N 83°3′18.91″W / 42.343778°N 83.0552528°W / 42.343778; -83.0552528
Built 1889–90
Architect Donaldson and Meier
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
Governing body Private
MPS Religious Structures of Woodward Ave. TR
NRHP Reference # 82002899[1]
Added to NRHP August 3, 1982

The First Unitarian Church of Detroit was located at 2870 Woodward Avenue in Midtown Detroit, Michigan. Built between 1889 and 1890, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1] The original Unitarian congregation sold the building in 1937. It was destroyed by fire May 10, 2014.[2]

History[edit]

First Unitarian Church, c. 1906

The First Congregational Unitarian Society was incorporated on October 6, 1850. This church, their second, was dedicated in November 1890. The congregation used the church until 1934, when the widening of Woodward Avenue required a remodeling of the church. At that time, they worshiped with the First Universalist Church of Our Father, whose sanctuary on Cass Avenue was built in 1916. This arrangement worked out so well that the two congregations merged in 1934 to form the Church of Our Father (Unitarian-Universalist), which later became the 'First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit.[3] [4] The First Unitarian building was then sold in 1937 to the Church of Christ denomination.[3] The building went through other owners before finally being abandoned during the 2000s. It sat empty and in poor condition until the fire which destroyed it.

Architecture[edit]

The First Unitarian Church of Detroit was a Romanesque Revival-style church built of red sandstone. After its remodeling during the 1936 widening of Woodward, it remained substantially as built. The gabled façade had a great expanse of masonry; a simple four-bay porch with a shed roof and stone Romanesque columns spanning the first floor. There was a two-story hip-roofed projection at the corner, and a side porch with stone piers covering a side entrance.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ Muller, David (May 11, 2014). "Historic First Unitarian Church of Detroit partially demolished after blaze; Arson investigation underway". mlive.com. Retrieved May 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "First Unitarian Church of Detroit". State of Michigan. [dead link]
  4. ^ Braun, Ruth L. (1964). The Story of this Church: First Unitarian-Universalist: Liberal Religion in Detroit. First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Detroit. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3. 

Arson Questions

External links[edit]