Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Christ Church

In May, 1845, a group from St. Paul's Church, including the Campau, Trowbridge, Brush and Sibley families established Christ Church. In 1846, a site between Hastings and Rivard Streets on Jefferson Avenue was chosen to build a small wooden church, designed by Lieutenant Montgomery C. Meigs. In 1860, a chapel was constructed on Woodbridge Street to use while a larger church was built. Known today as Mary’s ChapeI, it still stands behind the present church. The current church, designed by Gordon W. Lloyd, was dedicated on April 9, 1863.

The building is Gothic Revival style, based on the cruciform plan, and constructed of gray rubble limestone, dressed with sandstone trim. The distinctive and massive arcaded belfry dominates the west facade and contains the oldest set of church chimes in Detroit. Cast in Philadelphia, they were installed in 1863.

The wood used on the interior is all local butternut except for the roof. Spans across the ceiling of the nave each have their own hand carved angel to hold a light fixture. The pulpit was given by the Brush Family. The Bishop’s chair and Deacon’s stalls were given when the chancel was enlarged and deepened about 1900. The hand carved figures on the choir stalls date to 1903. It was at that time that the Italian marble altar was given in memory of Charles Trowbridge, one of the church founders.

There are two Tiffany windows, with other windows designed by famous glass companies such as Franz Meyer and Company and J. Wippell and Co. The Great North Window is one of the largest in the city. The mosaic above the altar was done in Brussels, Belgium, and shipped intact.



Christ Church and Sibley House Postcard, 1950s – 2012.045.115

Christ Church Detroit Interior, c.1965 – 2014.003.400

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