St. Theresa of Avila Parish Complex, photo submitted 1989 St. Theresa of Avila Parish Complex, photo submitted 1989
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Saint Theresa of Avila Roman Catholic Parish Complex
8666 Quincy Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Saint Theresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church
Property Type religious complex
Historic Use RELIGION
Current Use RELIGION
Style Late Victorian
Architect/Builder EDWARD SCHILLING
Van Leyen, Schilling & Keough
Narrative Description The parish plant of St. Theresa of Avila is comprised of the church, rectory, school, and convent. All of the buildings in the complex feature walls of dark red tapestry brick-trimmed with Indiana limestone, and all share the generally Neo-Romanesque character of the magnificent basilican church. The church features a parapeted gable-front flanked by twin towers, both surmounted by octagonal lanterns. The triple-arched entrance is fronted by a two-story Romanesque arcaded portico that features sculpted limestone rondels in the spandrels. A round window located above the portico is flanked by arched niches outlined with a vegetal patterned, carved limestone border. The design of the exterior strongly derives from the Italian Romanesque style, with hints of Byzantine and Art Deco elements. The school is a two-story, flat-roofed, I-shaped building with serifs. The rectory is a typical five-bay center entrance house with Colonial influences and Neo-Romanesque detailing. The three-story convent building, built during the Great Depression, is more modest in ornament but basically shares the style of the other buildings. The structure's facade is divided into three vertical elements by a central pavilion brought forward, which contains the entrance.
Statement of Significance The St. Theresa of Avila Parish is architecturally significant as a fine example of a Roman Catholic parish plant of the period 1915 to 1938, centered on the magnificent Neo-Romanesque church of 1924 to 1927. Contracted to the Detroit architectural firm of Van Leyen, Schilling, and Keough, the design of the entire complex was credited specifically to Edward Schilling. The firm was well known for their series of Roman Catholic buildings in the city from approximately 1900 to the 1940s. The parish plant reflects the exceptional rate of growth of Detroit during that period, when the burgeoning auto industry caused a population boom in the city. The parish buildings also reflect the history of the Irish-American community in Detroit, whose prosperity was reflected in the impressive complex built by this predominantly Irish-American parish.
Period of Significance 1919-1939
Significant Date(s) 1919, 1924-27, 1938
Registry Type(s) 07/14/1989 National Register listed
Site ID# P25235