Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, photo submitted 1972
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Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church
4440Russell, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, School and Rectory
Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church-Local
Property Type religious complex
Historic Use RELIGION
Current Use RELIGION
Style Late Gothic Revival
Architect/Builder Detroit Stained Glass Works
Rogers, Smith, McDonald and Price
Spier and Rohns
Narrative Description Sweetest Heart of Mary is a Late Gothic Revival church built on a cruciform plan with walls of red brick, topped by a patterned slate cross-gable roof. Multiple subsidiary gables filled by large lancet windows project from the sides of the building. The entrance facade is fronted by a rusticated stone lower level and features a repeated, triple portal, pointed-arch entrance topped by a stone balustrade. A parapeted front-gable filled with a pointed-arch window with stone tracery dominates the facade. Twin spired towers supported by capped buttresses and decorated with pinnacles, gablets, and crosses, flank the facade. Three related buildings including a three-story, brick-walled school building, a convent, and a rectory, are located behind the church.
Statement of Significance Sweetest Heart of Mary was a social, religious, and cultural center for Detroit's large Polish community and was led by the dynamic Father Dominick Kolasinski. Built in 1893 at a cost of $125,000, the church was designed by the Detroit architectural firm of Spier and Rohns. The builders were local contractors Rogers, Smith, McDonald and Price. The church features an 1894 Austin organ, the oldest electrified organ in the state and one of the last examples of its kind. Located in a revitalizing area of the city, Sweetest Heart of Mary hosts regular services and supports a growing congregation.
Marker Name Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Marker Text SWEETEST HEART OF MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH During the late nineteenth century many Polish immigrants fleeing oppression came to Detroit. In 1886 a group of them organized the school that was the beginning of Sweetest Heart of Mary Parish. On December 8, 1888, the Reverend Dominic H. Kolasinski, former pastor and builder of neighboring St. Albertus Church, became their pastor without episcopal approval. Under his leadership, construction of this late Victorian Gothic church began in July 1890. On February 18, 1894, the parish officially became part of the Diocese of Detroit. The church's windows, made by the Detroit Glass Works, won prizes at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition. Its organ is one of the oldest Austin organs in existence. Its 217-foot spires house three large bells named St. Mary, St. Joseph and St. Barbara.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1890-1893
Registry Type(s) 04/01/1981 Marker erected
01/31/1978 National Register listed
07/26/1974 State Register listed
Site ID# P4496