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St. Augustine Church

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1913, Peter Dederichs. S. Main and Howard sts.
  • (David Alan Jones)
  • (David Alan Jones)

Settled by German Catholic families, Lenox and present-day Richmond remained until the 1930s one town named Lenox. Here St. Augustine was established as a mission in 1880, and a wooden church was built in 1888. The growing number of Catholics in the area necessitated a larger church, and in 1913, under the leadership of the Reverend Edward Schrauder, pastor of St. Augustine's from 1905 until his death in 1934, the parish began a twenty-nine-year building campaign. The stone cross-shaped church, with its three-staged twin towers and triple entrance, recalls Dederichs's St. Mary's Catholic Church, erected in 1885 in Detroit ( WN40). The low, pointed-arched windows resemble the northern Italian Gothic mode. Although Dederichs specified that the buttressed walls of St. Augustine Church be constructed of the best-quality cut stone, instead, they were constructed of cobblestones and fieldstones gathered by the parishioners from their fields. The execution of this high-style design in the locally available material resulted in a delightful vernacular work of architecture that sings native Michigan. A cobblestone rectory of the bungalow type and a school were built adjacent to the church in 1926 and 1930, respectively.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "St. Augustine Church", [Richmond, 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, 176-176.

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