Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, photo submitted in 1982.
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Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church
3901Cass Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Cass Community United Methodist Church
Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church-Local
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use RELIGION/religious facility
Style Romanesque
Architect/Builder Malcomson and Higginbotham
Mason and Rice
Narrative Description The Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church is a nineteenth-century, stone, Richardsonian Romanesque structure composed of three sections: the original chapel of 1883, the present church of 1891, and a small, one-story addition of 1968. The original chapel is located at the western end of the Seldon Avenue elevation. The building faced Seldon Avenue was was set back several feet from the property line. It was executed in a simple Victorian Tudor style of red brick on a cut stone foundation. The structure had a T-shaped plan and a two-and-one-half-story main block and one-and-one-half-story rear wing. When the church proper was constructed, the chapel was remodeled and enlarged. The design of the facade was modified to correspond with the Richardsonian Romanesque style of the new church, and the original facade sheathed in Grafton stone to match the church. The 1891 church building is constructed in a Greek Cross formation which is dominated by a square corner tower eighty-six feet in height. The church was constructed of uniform, rock-faced, Grafton stone in a coursed ashlar finish trimmed with variegated Ionia sandstone. The main tower retains its original green ceramic tile roof. The broad, round-headed windows on three of the sanctuary's sides are fitted with stained glass from the Tiffany Studios of New York.
Statement of Significance The 1891 Cass Avenue United Methodist Church is significant as a monumental example of Richardsonian Romanesque ecclesiastical architecture and as an important work of Malcomson and Higginbotham, a prominent Detroit architectural firm. Of major significance are the organ, which is thought to be the largest nineteenth-century pipe organ in Michigan, and the Tiffany glass windows of the sanctuary. Formed in 1880 to serve a rapidly growing, suburban neighborhood, the church is now located in the Cass Corridor, an inner-city Detroit neighborhood.
Marker Name Cass Community United Methodist Church
Marker Text CASS COMMUNITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH This monumental structure typifies Richardsonian Romanesque ecclesiastic architecture. The original 1883 portion was designed by Mason and Rice for the Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, founded in 1880. The 1891 east addition is the work of Malcomson and Higginbotham. Of special significance are the colorful Tiffany stained-glass windows and the Johnson-Tracker church organ, thought to be the largest nineteenth-century pipe organ in Michigan. The congregation has a reputation for fostering community outreach programs since its founding.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1883, 1891 church addition
Registry Type(s) 06/18/1986 Marker erected
12/10/1982 National Register listed
03/28/1985 State Register listed
Site ID# P4520