Saint John's Episcopal Church
Location Name: Saint John’s Episcopal Church (Detroit, Michigan)
Location Type: Church (Episcopal)
Year Completed: 1859, 1861 Addition
Architect(s): Albert Jordan and James Anderson
Saint John’s was organized as Detroit’s sixth Episcopal parish in 1858. It was mostly through the efforts of Detroit businessman and politician Henry P. Baldwin that the parish was formed and Saint John’s was built. Baldwin donated the property and paid for the construction of the original chapel (which still remains as a part of Saint John’s today).
Architects Albert Jordan and James Anderson were chosen to build the chapel, which was completed in 1859. It was almost as soon as the chapel was built that the parish recognized the need for a larger church. Jordan and Anderson were again chosen to design a large addition to the 1859 chapel. The addition was finished and consecrated on 10 December 1861. Built in the Victorian Gothic style and made of Michigan limestone with a trim of Ohio sandstone, the church’s exterior is adorned by many gargoyles, and a 105 foot tall belfry dominated the facade. In the sanctuary, there are several stained glass windows by Tiffany Studios.
Today, Saint John’s remains much as it did in 1861, despite a major alteration in 1936. When Woodward Avenue was widened, Saint John’s stood in the path of what was to be part of the roadway. Despite some consideration of demolishing the church and moving the parish into a new building, the decision was made to move the existing structure sixty feet eastward. The entire building was dismantled, brick by brick, and re-built on its current site.
Saint John’s Episcopal Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.Sources