Saline Presbyterian Church, photo submitted 1995
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Saline Presbyterian Church
143Michigan, Saline - Washtenaw County
Other Names First Presbyterian Church of Saline
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use RELIGION/religious facility
Style Romanesque
Architect/Builder Conrad Schaffer
Spier and Rohns
Narrative Description The Saline Presbyterian Church features an irregular plan, gabled roof and dominant squared corner tower. The tower rises from the ground at the building's southeast corner to triple-arched louvers on each face. Its short crowning spire is flanked at the base by four matching miniature spires. The large round-arch stained-glass windows on the south and east facades, the raised cut stone foundation, and the small round tower at the structure's southwest corner reveal a Romanesque Revival stylistic influence. "In 1954, new porches and steps were constructed at the front entrances to the church, using stones obtained from Dwight Reynolds's property on Textile Road, from which the original foundation stones had come." (First Presbyterian Church of Saline, Michigan, Sesquicentennial Yearbook) In 1976-78 church members began extensive exterior and interior renovation, which included re-roofing, repair of the bell tower louvered screens, repair and re-roofing of the steeple and construction of classrooms in the basement.
Statement of Significance The First Presbyterian Church derives its significance from its role in local Presbyterian history and as a good example of vernacularly interpreted Romanesque Revival architecture. The building is one of many southern Michigan structures designed by the Detroit firm of Frederick H. Spier and William C. Rohns. The prolific duo formed a partnership in 1884, the former after training at the Hanover, Germany, polytechnicum and some time in the office of Gordon W. Lloyd and Elijah E. Myers, the latter after working with the New York architect Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz. In addition to the Saline church, Spier and Rohns designed a number of railroad depots, the Detroit Chamber of Commerce Building (1895), several buildings at the University of Michigan, St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church in Ann Arbor (1899), and Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Detroit (1893).
Marker Name Saline Presbyterian Church
Marker Text SALINE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH In 1831, Presbyterian families from Newark, New York, traveled by boat through the Erie Canal to Detroit. Settling in the Saline area, they held their first religious service on July 18, 1831. Thereafter, services were held in schoolhouses, homes, and other church buildings until 1842 when they erected a frame structure on this site. In 1898 that building was replaced with the present church. SALINE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH Built in 1898 with heavy cut stone foundations and rounded arches, the Saline Presbyterian Church reflects the influence of Romanesque Revival architecture. Detroit architects Frederick H. Spier and William C. Rohns designed the church, which was built by local contractor Conrad Schaffer and Son. The total cost for the building and furnishings was $5,981. The congregation restored the sanctuary interior in 1998.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1898
Registry Type(s) 05/04/1998 Marker erected
08/03/1995 State Register listed
Site ID# P235