Temple Beth-El (Lighthouse Cathedral)

Temple Beth-El (Lighthouse Cathedral)
Temple Beth-El
Facade from Woodward
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°22′49.82″N 83°4′51.55″W / 42.3805056°N 83.0809861°W / 42.3805056; -83.0809861Coordinates: 42°22′49.82″N 83°4′51.55″W / 42.3805056°N 83.0809861°W / 42.3805056; -83.0809861
Built: 1921
Architect: Albert Kahn
Architectural style: Classical Revival
Governing body: Private
MPS: Religious Structures of Woodward Ave. TR
NRHP Reference#: 82002912[1]
Added to NRHP: August 3, 1982

The church building at 8801 Woodward Avenue (Woodward at Gladstone) in Detroit, Michigan is a historic building.[2] It was built in 1921 as Temple Beth-El. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1][3]



In 1921 Detroit's Temple Beth El, under Rabbi Leo M. Franklin's leadership, had outgrown its previous building at Woodward and Eliot.[4] In addition, many members of the congregation had moved to areas such as Boston-Edison and Atkinson Avenue that did not proscribe Jewish residents.[2] The congregation obtained a parcel of land near these neighborhoods at Woodward and Gladstone and engaged congregant Albert Kahn to design a new temple. The cornerstone for the new building was laid on September 20, 1921, with the dedication on November 10-12, 1922.[4]

The Kahn-designed temple is a classical, flat-roofed structure built from limestone.[2] On the facade facing Woodward, eight ionic columns form an enormous porch and frame three large pairs of doors. Along the facade facing Gladstone, eight tall, narrow are framed by massive piers.[2]


In the early 1974, the Beth El congregation moved again, this time to Bloomfield Hills, and the building was sold to the Lighthouse Tabernacle, becoming known as the Lighthouse Cathedral. It is now owned by Little Rock Baptists Church and is used as a community center[5] As of 2008, it was occupied by the Citadel of Faith Covenant Church.[3] As of June of 2010, the church is being occupied by The Community Church of Christ, under the leadership of Pastor R.A. Cranford.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html. 
  2. ^ a b c d Temple Beth-El from Detroit 1701.org.
  3. ^ a b Citadel of Faith, Citadel of Faith Covenant Church website. Accessed November 11, 2008
  4. ^ a b Katz, Irving I., The Beth El Story (with a History of Jews in Michigan Before 1850), Wayne State University Press, 1955, pp. 105-106.
  5. ^ Lighthouse Cathedral from Woodward Avenue Historic Sites

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