Metropolitan United Methodist Church
Location Name: Metropolitan United Methodist Church (Detroit, Michigan)
Location Type: Church (Methodist)
Year Completed: 1926
Architect(s): William E. N. Hunter
Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church (as it was originally known) was built to replace an earlier structure, North Woodward Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, which burnt on 24 December 1916. Slightly prior to the disaster, Dr. Merton S. Rice came to Detroit from Duluth, Minnesota, with a plan to build another grand church for Detroit’s growing Methodist population. Sebastian S. Kresge, a congregant at North Woodward and a local businessman known for his S. S. Kresge Corporation (precursor to Kmart), provided the land on which the new church would be built. After the burning of North Woodward, plans to build the new church were expedited and the new building was quickly under construction. Despite the need for a new church, the scarcity of building materials due to World War I kept the project moving slowly.
The cornerstone for the new building was laid on 04 June 1922 and the name was changed to Metropolitan Methodist Church, since North Woodward was no longer appropriate (the city limits had expanded well beyond the church by that time). Congregant William E. N. Hunter, a well-known church architect, was chosen to design the new structure and after nearly a decade of work, the new building was dedicated on 17 January 1926. The structure was built in the English Gothic style and made of ochre granite from Massachusetts. The construction had cost $1.6 million, a good sum of which was generously donated by the Kresge family who lived about one mile to the north in Detroit’s Boston-Edison neighborhood.
Metropolitan United Methodist Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.Sources