not all those who wander are lost

The whole complex is about six structures including the garage.

This is the school building.

Shattered decorations from the school building cornice, each one gutted to remove its Pewabic tile.

[SNWEB.org corrects this; the tiles and the forms they were pried from were removed from the sanctuary pillars, and shucked out in the courtyard.]

A destroyed wooden interior detail with gothic trefoil.

13 Responses to St. Agnes Church

  • Interesting photos and what a sad state the church building is in. I worked in the Archives of the Archdiocese for many years and got to see alot of the churches in their day.

  • I used to attend mass here as a small child. It used to look like a castle. I still love the building.

  • St John on East Grand Blvd and Immaculate Conception were two churchs in the old neighborhhod that came down for the GM plant. St Stanislaus and St. Albertus were closed, though St. Albertus (the mother church of Poles in Detroit) has a die-hard group of supporters who still maintain it and have an annual Chistmas Eve mass there (even now in 2010). St Hyacinth is nearby on McDougal but I wouldn’t be surprised if it closes in the next year or two/ Sweetest Heart of Mary is still going and, to my thinking, is probably the most beautiful church in Detroit (it certainly has the most magnificent stained glass windows). This is simply the way it is in America……tear down the old and build something new; it’s what keeps our economy going. At some point folks will have to wake-up, but I fear that it still won’t happen in my lifetime.

  • St Agatha/Martyrs of Uganda Chruch was/is at the corner of 12th Street and South La Salle Gardens (aka C.L Franklin Blvd). Yes, Detroit is filled with more and more once beautiful buildings that are now so far into ruin that it makes 95% of them beyond all hope of being restored. I went to St. Stanislaus as a kid when this was still a Polish neighborhood. I still live in Detroit (by choice) but I’m finally to the point where I see that it simply is not ever going to get better. It’s time to bury the dead.

  • Allison – yeah, I missed St Cyril completely as far as photography goes. My family is Polish, so I have always had my eye on St. Stani, and eventually I will go inside there. I have family members who attended that church back in the day, as well as the other original Polish churches in that district.

  • I found one tile that was popped lose and almost intact aside from a chip in the corner, got it right here next to my desk. Mrs dfunk was really surprised to see it when I brought it home, those things are beautiful.

  • Oh, no problem, dfunk, one of my many hobbies is Detroit Catholic Church history. I can go through much of the city and give at least brief histories of the parishes and other random facts.

    Detroit is such a beautiful city, really it is. That’s why I hope that after I take my vows as a sister, I can be back in the city I love so much.

    Too bad you could not go through the old Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church/School monolith, I hear that was a pretty spectacular building.

    One thing about which I am curious is old Saint Stanislaus (aka Our Lady of the Incinerator), I would like to see what the interior looks like. That was a beautiful example of Baroque architecture.

    BTW, if you ever need any Catholicky information, I can see if I can be of some help. I love Church history and Detroit! :D

  • This was actually Saint Agnes Church for much of its history. Then in the late 1980s when the Archdiocese of Detroit was doing dramatic and controversial realigning of urban parishes because of the exodus of Catholics, Saint Agnes was (I think) merged with another area parish and renamed “Martyrs of Uganda.”

    Another bit of Catholicky historicity, Saint Agnes was actually the parish to which one “Radio Priest” Father Charles Coughlin was assigned as an assistant when he was a professor at Assumption College in Windsor.

    You can actually see pictures of the stained glass windows on YouTube. Search the term “Abandoned Church Basilica” and it should be the first one (though it was never elevated to basilica).

    I am curious to know what happened to the stained glass windows as they were wonderful examples of 1920s Art Deco in stained glass.

  • Fairly disastrous maybe !

  • Thank you, Dfunk. It’s for sale, listed as “fair” condition. No price…

  • Location, please? All I got searching was Rosa Parks blvd.

  • terrible beauty.

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