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Central United Methodist Church (Central Methodist Episcopal Church)

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Central Methodist Episcopal Church
1889–1890 church, Elijah E. Myers; 1922–1923 Temple House and 1942 Mary-Sabina Chapel, Black and Black. 215 N. Capitol Ave.

One of four churches once facing the great capitol square, Central United Methodist Church is among the finest Richardsonian Romanesque churches in Michigan. A massive, buttressed square tower rises eighty-five feet at the southeast corner and a squat, conical-roofed round tower at the southwest corner of the gabled and buttressed compact building. Splendid solid grayish-red and yellowish-brown variegated Ionia sandstone, rock-faced and randomly coursed, forms its exterior walls. Double round-arched entrances within the south gabled facade give access to the vestibule, and in turn, paired staircases to the auditorium. The auditorium seats nearly 700 worshippers in four banks of pews arranged in a semicircle and sloping down toward a raised platform holding a central pulpit and a huge round-arched loft that originally held the organ. The bright, cheerful, and warm interior is finished in red oak, has beautiful carved hammer beams, and magnificent glass windows, colored in yellows, roses, and blues.

The Temple House and chapel additions carefully defer to the original plans of Myers. The four-story Temple House contains a banquet hall, auditorium surrounded by two floors of Sunday school rooms, offices, public lounges, recreation hall, gymnasium, and bowling alleys. The artistry of the decorative work of the Mary-Sabina Chapel, some of which was executed by Corrado Joseph Parducci, is notable.

Central Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1861. The congregation built a brick church in 1863 and occupied it until the present church was erected.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


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Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Central United Methodist Church (Central Methodist Episcopal Church)", [Lansing, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 291-291.

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