First Presbyterian Church (Detroit, Michigan)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church Detroit 2.jpg
First Presbyterian Church seen from across Woodward
Location 2930 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°20′38.89″N 83°3′18.95″W / 42.3441361°N 83.0552639°W / 42.3441361; -83.0552639Coordinates: 42°20′38.89″N 83°3′18.95″W / 42.3441361°N 83.0552639°W / 42.3441361; -83.0552639
Built 1889
Architect George D. Mason & Zachariah Rice
Architectural style Richardsonian Romanesque
NRHP Reference # 79001174[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 19, 1979
Designated MSHS August 3, 1979[2]

The former First Presbyterian Church, now the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, is located at 2930 Woodward Avenue in Midtown Detroit, Michigan. It was built in 1889 as the First Presbyterian Church.

The building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a designated Michigan State Historic Site (1979), and a contributing property to the Brush Park Historic District.[1][2]


George D. Mason and Zachariah Rice modeled the First Presbyterian Church after Henry Hobson Richardson's Trinity Church in Boston.[3][4] The church, in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, is made from rough-cut red sandstone, with the floorplan in the shape of a Greek cross. Masonry arches support a red sandstone tower with a slate roof and turrets at each corner. The stained glass windows of the church are exceptional, with many of Tiffany glass.[4]

When Woodward was widened in 1936, the elaborately-carved entrance porch was moved from the Woodward façade to the Edmund Place side.[3][4]

A State of Michigan historical marker was placed at the site on August 26, 1980.[5]

Current use[edit]

The building is currently used as the Ecumenical Theological Seminary. The Seminary was founded in 1980 (as the Ecumenical Theological Center).[6] In 1992, the program leased the First Presbyterian Church for use as a seminary; in 2002 the Presbytery of Detroit gave the Ecumenical Theological Seminary the building, land and endowments of the Church.[6]



  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "First Presbyterian Church". Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Hill, Eric J. & John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3.  p. 110.
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ "Michigan Historical Marker: First Presbyterian Church". Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  6. ^ a b "About Us: History". Ecumenical Theological Seminary. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]