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Temple Baptist Church, Detroit, MI

July 14, 2018

Major “rust belt” cities—Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee—are familiar to me. I was born there; their fabric may be threadbare but it is comfortable. At the outset of this project I was disappointed to have found so few A-A examples, possibly because of the high Roman Catholic population, but in hindsight it now seems more likely that the volatility of neighborhoods, their shifting populations, and the general economic decline didn’t serve these congregations well.

I stumbled across this spectacular example of what I believe was a classic C-1 type and searched long and hard for its location in Detroit. There are several on-line threads about the history of the congregation—which had its own sort of volatility—and one of the contributors pinpointed the site at Fourteenth and Marquette on Detroit’s inner west side. From the air the plan of the building is still apparent but you’d be hard-pressed to recognize it from the street. These two views are taken from similar vantage points!

The architect is reputed to have been J. Will Wilson in 1920.

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