St. Charles Borromeo Complex, photos submitted 1989
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Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Parish Complex
1515Baldwin (church bldg), Detroit - Wayne County
1491Baldwin (rectory), Detroit - Wayne County
1480Townsend (school bldg), Detroit - Undef County
Other Names Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Parish Historic District-Local
Property Type religious complex
Historic Use DOMESTIC/single dwelling
RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use DOMESTIC/single dwelling
RELIGION/religious facility
Style Classical Revival
Architect/Builder Peter Dederich, Van Leyen and Schilling
Narrative Description The St. Charles Borromeo parish complex consists of four buildings, three of them contributing to the district. The church was described at the time of construction as being "Romanesque," although is currently known as classically inspired with Arts and Crafts elements. The cruciform-planned church has walls of red-brown tapestry brick with smooth white Bedford stone foundation and trim. Green tile fills the many spandrels and pediments of the front and transept facades. The triple arched entrances are recessed within a two-story arch flanked by columns on plinths; above the doors is a large rose window with geometric tracery. Decorative elements include egg-and-dart and bead-and-reel moldings, a classical balustrade below the rose window, and rosettes in the spandrels above the entrance arches. The brick pilasters flanking the central arch support the crowning pediment and are decorative elements derived from Prairie School or Arts and Crafts models. The facade is flanked by towers, both topped by red tiled hip-roofs. The rectory and school were both designed in the Prairie style and feature some Byzantine or Early Christian elements.
Statement of Significance The St. Charles Parish complex is historically significant as the focal point of a late nineteenth and early twentieth century Belgian Community, and architecturally significant as a well preserved example of an early twentieth century Roman Catholic parish complex of three contributing buildings anchored by a lavishly detailed parish church which was the last work of Peter Dederichs, one of Detroit's leading Catholic church architects. The rectory and parochial school was finished in 1912 and the church was finished in 1919 at a cost of $16,000. The rectory and school were both designed in 1912 by the architectural firm of Van Leyen and Schilling of Detroit. In 1925 the size of the church was doubled. Currently, the church serves a congregation of approximately 400 members. The school is privately owned and houses artists' studios, and is known as the St. Charles Common Ground for the Arts. The rectory still serves its original function.
Period of Significance 1912-1925
Significant Date(s) 1919
Registry Type(s) 06/09/1989 National Register listed
Site ID# P4516