- Metropolitan United Methodist Church
Metropolitan United Methodist ChurchChurch facade from Woodward
Location: Detroit, Michigan Coordinates: Coordinates: Built: 1922 Architect: William E. N. Hunter Architectural style: Other Governing body: Private MPS: Religious Structures of Woodward Ave. TR NRHP Reference#: 82002904 Significant dates Added to NRHP: August 3, 1982 Designated MSHS: October 23, 1986
The Metropolitan United Methodist Church is a church in the New Center area of Detroit Michigan, 8000 Woodward Avenue (at Chandler). It was constructed in 1926, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1986.
In 1901, two Detroit Methodist congregations, the Woodward Avenue Methodist Episcopal (founded in 1885) and the Oakland Avenue Church (founded in 1886), merged to form the North Woodward Avenue Methodist Church. Two years later, Dr. Charles Bronson Allen became pastor and convinced the congregation to construct a building at Woodward and Melbourne which burned down on Christmas Eve 1916. The congregation decided to rebuild grander than ever. One of the congregants, Sebastian S. Kresge (who lived nearby in Boston-Edison), donated land at Woodward and Chandler for a new building as well as offering substiantial financial support. Another congregant, William E. N. Hunter, designed the structure, however, shortages of building materials and labor caused by World War I delayed construction. The cornerstone was finally laid June 4, 1922, and the first services were held in the completed sanctuary January 17, 1926. By the mid-1930s, the congregation was the largest local church in the Methodist world. Church membership peaked in 1943 at 7,300 members. 
The church is a very large structure in the English Gothic style, built from a distinctive ochre granite from Massachusetts. It is built in a traditional cruciform design buttressed with several low side wings and a gabled roof. The sanctuary occupies the western half of the building while the eastern half contains an auditorium, offices and classrooms. A hallway on the main level separates the sanctuary from the auditorium. The walls of both spaces retract allowing up seating for up to 7,000 with a view of the chancel.
One curious feature, when viewing the building from the exterior, is that the lower half of the chancel window is filled with stone rather than glass. This is to allow for display of a large tapestry on the church's interior.
The church is painted throughout by the artist George Boget. Three murals on the second floor crush hall depict scenes from the history of Protestantism and Methodism. They are entitled "The Dawn of Reformation," "John Wesley Preaching on His Father's Tomb," and "Francis Asbury, Apostle of the Long Trail." A winding tree motif ties these murals together with smaller symbolic imagery painted into the vaulted ceilings on the first and second floor corridors, as well as large murals in Kresge Hall, the auditorium. These murals show smaller scenes of Methodist and Metropolitan History tied into the "family tree" that binds the congregation together.
In 1970, Stanley and Dorothy Kresge donated $194,000 for the Merton S. Rice Memorial Organ, named for the former pastor. They contributed an additional $10,000 for structural modifications to house the pipe chambers. The organ is opus 10641 of the M. P. Moller Organ Company. The organ incorporated some pipes from an earlier instrument by Austin Organs, Inc. and at installation, contained 6,849 pipes in 119 ranks. In subsequent years, it has been enlarged to 7,003 pipes and 121 ranks, making it the second largest pipe organ in the state of Michigan.
- ^ 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.
- ^ a b "Metropolitan United Methodist Church". Michigan State Housing Development Authority. http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/hso/sites/15888.htm. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- ^ a b "Metropolitan United Methodist Church". Detroit1701.org. May 2005. http://www.detroit1701.org/Metro%20United%20Methodist.html. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
- ^ "History of Metropolitan United Methodist Church". MetropolitanUMC.org. http://www.metroumc.org/history. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
- ^ "Pipe Organs". MetropolitanUMC.org. http://www.metroumc.org/organ. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
References and further reading
- Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3.
Religious landmarks in metropolitan Detroit Woodward Avenue
St. John's Episcopal Church (2326) • Woodward Avenue Baptist Church (demolished) • First Unitarian Church (2870) • First Presbyterian Church (2930) • Temple Beth-El (3424) • Cathedral Church of St. Paul (4800) • Our Lady of the Rosary (5930) • Metropolitan United Methodist Church (8000) • First Baptist Church (8501) • Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church (8501) • North Woodward Congregational Church (8715) • Temple Beth-El (8801) • Saint Joseph's Episcopal Church (8830) • Central Woodward Christian Church (9000) • Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament (9844) • Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (12375) • Trinity United Methodist Church (13100) • First United Methodist Church (16300) • Central United Methodist Church (23 East Adams) • First Congregational Church (33 Forest) • Highland Park Presbyterian Church (14 Cortland) • Mariners' Church (170 East Jefferson)
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church • Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church • Chapel of St. Theresa-the Little Flower • Christ Church Detroit • Fort Street Presbyterian Church • Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church • Historic Trinity Lutheran Church • Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church • Most Holy Redeemer Church • Sacred Heart Major Seminary • Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Convent and Rectory • St. Albertus Roman Catholic Church • St. Aloysius • Saint Andrew's Memorial Episcopal Church • Ste. Anne de Detroit Catholic Church • St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church (demolished) • St. Bonaventure Monastery • St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church • St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church • St. Florian Church (Hamtramck) • St. James Episcopal (Grosse Ile) • St. John's-St. Luke's Evangelical • St. Josaphat's • St. Joseph Catholic Church • St. Mary Roman Catholic Church • Saints Peter and Paul Church • Saints Peter and Paul Academy • St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Church • St. Theresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church • St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church (demolished) • Second Baptist Church • Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church • Trinity Episcopal Church • Trumbull Avenue Presbyterian Church
Christ Church Chapel (Grosse Pointe) • Christ Church Cranbrook (Bloomfield Hills) • Detroit Temple, Church of the Latter Day Saints (Bloomfield Hills) • Duns Scotus College (Southfield) • Grosse Pointe Memorial Church (Grosse Pointe) • Islamic Center of America (Dearborn) • Kirk in the Hills (Bloomfield Hills) • National Shrine of the Little Flower (Royal Oak) • Nardin Park United Methodist Church (Farmington Hills) • Piety Hill Historic District (Lapeer) • St. John Armenian Church (Southfield) • St. Mary Church (Monroe) • Saint Paul Catholic Church (Grosse Pointe Farms) • Shaarey Zedek (Southfield) • Temple Beth El(Bloomfield Hills)
See also: Architecture of metropolitan Detroit Religious Structures of Woodward Avenue TR Structures in this TRCentral United Methodist Church (Detroit, Michigan) • St. John's Episcopal Church • Woodward Avenue Baptist Church • First Unitarian Church of Detroit • Temple Beth-El (3424) • Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit • Saint Joseph's Episcopal Church (5930) • Metropolitan United Methodist Church • Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church • First Baptist Church of Detroit • North Woodward Congregational Church • Temple Beth-El (8801) • Saint Joseph's Episcopal Church (8830) • Central Woodward Christian Church • Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament • Highland Park Presbyterian Church • Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (Highland Park, Michigan) • Trinity United Methodist Church • First United Methodist Church Structures listed earlier U.S. National Register of Historic Places Topics Lists by statesAlabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming Lists by territories Lists by associated states Other Category:National Register of Historic Places • Portal:National Register of Historic Places
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