Finding New Uses For The Midwest’s Vacant Churches

On Monday, there will be word on the new members of a growing collection across the Midwest: vacant churches. The Archdiocese of Detroit is expected to officially announce which parishes will close or be combined with others across a six-county region, and the Detroit News says that could result in 39 fewer churches.

Hobbs & Black Architects are in this Ann Arbor, Mich. church

Vacant churches dot our cities — not just Detroit, in but Cleveland and Chicago, as well. But, like other empty places that we’ve reported on in the Midwest, some are being put to new uses.

One longstanding example is in Ann Arbor, where Hobbs & Black Architects have their offices in the former First Unitarian Church. The imposing stone building at 100 N. State Street was built in 1885, and was used as a church until 1975. Hobbs & Black bought it in 1985, and gave it a painstaking restoration, including a soaring Tiffany glass window.

We’d like to know about other churches in our region that are being put to new use. Please let us know about the ones in your city. And if there are churches sitting vacant, we’d like to hear about those, too.

Tell us how church buildings are coming back to life.

Leave a Reply