St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and Rectory, photos submitted 1989 St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and Rectory, photos submitted 1989 St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and Rectory, photos submitted 1989
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Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and Rectory
8363-8383 Townsend Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
Property Type religious complex
Historic Use RELIGION
Current Use RELIGION
Style Late Victorian
Architect/Builder Van Leyen, Schilling & Keough
Narrative Description The St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Complex is comprised of six buildings. Included is the original large but simply detailed church/social hall building, the old rectory, a school, and a convent. St. Thomas the Apostle Church is a free interpretation of Romanesque church architecture, with Art Deco influences. The church is a Latin cross plan basilica resting on a base of buff-color, Bedford, Indiana limestone. Its exterior walls are faced with red brick that is laid over Dennison Interlocking Tile. Bedford, Indiana limestone is also used to trim the building, as is Tuscan Glazed Faience in tones of blue, green, yellow, and orange. The steep, gabled roof is covered in Spanish tile. The church's facade consists of a series of gable-roof blocks. A central, side-gable block, as wide and high as the nave, contains the primary front entrance and vestibule area. Perched atop the main block is a smaller one, with its cross-topped gable facing the street. The principal front entrance is recessed into the center of a gabled projecting porch with three sets of Romanesque columned arches. Dominating the central part of the facade above the central portico is a massive Eucharistic relief set into a high, round-head opening. The rectory is a large, two-story building with a dormer-attic providing a functional third story.
Statement of Significance Designed by the Detroit architectural firm of Van Leyen, Schilling & Keough, specialists in the field of Catholic church architecture in the 1920s, and laden with a wealth of decorative art in stained glass, ceramic tile, limestone, marble, bronze, and wrought iron, St. Thomas the Apostle Church is an outstanding example of Roman Catholic church design of the 1920s in Detroit. Built from 1924 to 1926, this fine church building with its adjacent rectory reflects the rapid growth of the Polish Catholic population on Detroit's east side.
Period of Significance 1924-1926
Significant Date(s) 1926
Registry Type(s) 06/29/1989 National Register listed
Site ID# P25236