Saint Agnes Catholic Church
Location Name: Saint Agnes Catholic Church (Detroit, Michigan)
Location Type: Abandoned Site (Church)
Year Completed: 1924
Architect(s): Van Leyen, Schilling, Keough and Reynolds
The beginnings of Saint Agnes Parish date back to September 1913 when the parish was founded. Originally the pastor’s residence on La Salle Gardens was used for services until construction began in 1922 on a permanent structure. Completed in 1924 by architects Van Leyen, Schilling, Keough and Reynolds, Saint Agnes served the area Catholics for over seventy years. In 1989 the parish merged with nearby Saint Teresa of Avila and formed a new parish; Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church. The new parish used the old Saint Agnes Church as its sanctuary. The building was used as Martyrs of Uganda until that parish was closed due to declining membership and financial concerns. The last mass service held in the building was on 04 June 2006. Since that time the building has sat empty awaiting its fate.
After over five years of abandonments, Saint Agnes stands mostly in ruins. Water has long ago broken through the roof, and most of the sanctuary’s decoration has been salvaged, stolen or destroyed. The church and nearby school have been open to trespass for years and scrappers have damaged the building in search for metals. Mold fills the air as the church’s plasterwork falls from the ceiling. It is unlikely that much can be done to save the complex at this point. While there may be a chance to save the sanctuary, there is no real talk of restoring the building that is just one of many in the same position. Yet, Saint Agnes somehow keeps her composure and remains beautiful despite the ever-worsening problems that plague her.Sources