Old St Mary’s is the third oldest Roman Catholic Church in Detroit and the first German Church. It was first built on the present site in 1841 by a parish of German Catholic immigrants at a time when the total population of Detroit was not much over 5,000. Not including labor, the original brick church cost a little over $239. The present church, replacing the earlier structure, was constructed in 1884, and styled in Victorian Gothic by Peter Dedericks, a native architect. The beautiful polished columns inside are of solid granite and impossible to replace today. The cornerstone for the First Church, built on the same site as the present site as the present stone, was laid on the feast of Corpus Christi, June 19, 1841.
DETROIT (November 25, 2014) – Detroit and its surrounding communities are home to some of the most historic and architecturally significant religious buildings in the country. As immigrants from around the world swelled Detroit’s population, they brought their faith and cultural traditions with them and reflected those traditions in the churches, synagogues, and mosques they erected.
Detroit Public Television (DPTV) will celebrate these historic structures and their significance to the area through a special Detroit Remember When: Detroit’s Houses of Worship program airing December 1 at8 p.m. on WTVS-Channel 56. The show will take viewers on a one-hour tour of eight of the area’s most revered religious facilities representing a range of faiths and traditions.
Produced for DPTV by the local team of Mary Kay and Bob Berg of Palindrome Productions, the featured structures include: Old St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Detroit built in 1885; People’s Community Church in Westland built in 1910; Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in Detroit built in 1931; Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills built in 1973; St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor built in 1868; The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn built in 2005; First Congregational Church in Detroit built in 1891; and the Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit built in 1855.
The program will not only showcase the magnificence of these religious structures, but also the transformative role that they have played in the region and how they have become symbols of the diversity and beauty that makes the Detroit area so unique. More information about this program can be found by visiting:www.dptv.org/programs/houses-of-worship
Major funding for this program is provided by the Marjorie and Maxwell Jospey Foundation. Additional support is provided by Lois J. Ryan.