Saints Peter and Paul Church, photo submitted 1971
Click above images to enlarge

Saints Peter and Paul Church
629 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION
Current Use RELIGION
Style Early Classical Revival
Architect/Builder Francis M. Latourneau
Peter Kindenkins
Narrative Description Saints Peter and Paul Church is a front-gable, basilica-style church with walls of painted brick. The church is surmounted by a short, square cupola near the front of the building. The entrance facade is fronted by a slightly projecting central pavilion that is topped by a pediment and is flanked by round arch windows. The central entrance is framed by a rounded arch and Ionic pilasters supporting a pediment. Ionic pilasters continue along the sides of the building and divide the facades into seven bays with tall, rounded arch windows. A short, square cupola surmounts the front-gable roof.
Statement of Significance Detroit's Saints Peter and Paul Church is the oldest extant church in the city. The church was built from 1844 to 1848 according to plans by Francis Letourneau, and Peter Kindenkens supervised the construction. In 1877 the Jesuits assumed responsibility for the structure and established a Roman Catholic college to work in conjunction with the church. The building underwent several alterations in 1879, and 1882, and was renovated in 1892. Though the structure has been frequently modified, the original plan is well preserved.
Marker Name SS. Peter and Paul Church
Marker Text SS. PETER AND PAUL CHURCH This is the oldest extant church in Detroit. Designed by Francis Letourno in the basilica form, it was built between 1844 and 1848 and served for twenty-nine years as the cathedral of the Detroit diocese under Bishop LeFevre. In 1877, Bishop Borgess gave the parish to the Jesuit Fathers to build a college here. This is now the University of Detroit. The church exterior retains its original simplicity and dignity.
Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) 1848
Registry Type(s) 05/09/1974 Marker erected
09/03/1971 National Register listed
01/22/1971 State Register listed
Site ID# P25237