all who wander are not lost

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, centerpiece of the Assumption Grotto compound.

Heres the previous structure, which was built after the original log cabin style structure.

Heres a very old painting by a congregation member of Asssumption Grotto – thats Gratiot Avenue, pretty rural back then. The original founders of the church came to the outskirts of the populace to a region called Connors Creek to build. The area was heavily wooded, and gave the Germanic church the nickname Kirche im Wald (Church in the Woods).

The complex has several buildings as well as a cemetery in the rear part of the property. In the cemetery you find the Grotto, modeled after the original in France.

From the Michigan historical marker:

Constructed in 1881 to 1883 at the instigation of the parish priest, Rev. Amandus Vandendriessche, the grotto is an early and innovative work of Detroit architect Peter Dederichs, Jr., the earliest known Michigan architect who specialized in the design of Catholic churches and institutional buildings.

In the upper shell of the Grotto are engraved the names of all the Popes.

Founding priest family tombstone

What a massive pile of architecture this place is from the exterior – this is the rear view of the church building.

The interiors are no less impressive.

Organ balcony

From the Michigan historical marker:

To meet the needs of a growing congregation, this church was begun in 1928. Designed by the Detroit architectural firm Aloys Frank Herman, Incorporated, the limestone-faced, Neo-Gothic, basilica-plan church was dedicated on September 22, 1929.

A unique feature of the church grounds is the grotto, a shrine located in the parish cemetery. Father Amandus Vandendriessche, who had served Assumption Church since 1852, visited France in 1876 and was so inspired by the shrine at Our Lady of Lourdes that he decided to create a replica at his own parish. The grotto has attracted visitors since its dedication in June 1881. The entire church complex, which consists of the church, parish house, rectory, cemetery and grotto, was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

The late 1920s Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a distinguished example of Neo-Gothic Catholic architecture in the Detroit area.

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