St. Thomas the Apostle's Church (Detroit, Michigan)

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St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and Rectory
St Thomas the Apostle Detroit 1989.jpg
St Thomas the Apostle, 1989
Location8363-8383 Townsend Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates42°23′24″N 83°1′28″W / 42.39000°N 83.02444°W / 42.39000; -83.02444Coordinates: 42°23′24″N 83°1′28″W / 42.39000°N 83.02444°W / 42.39000; -83.02444
ArchitectVan Leyen, Schilling & Keough
Architectural styleLate 19th and 20th century revival
Demolishedc. 1994
NRHP reference #89000785[1]
Added to NRHPJune 29, 1989

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church was a church located at 8363 and 8383 Townsend Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989,[1] but was subsequently demolished.[2]


Parking lot/field where the church once stood

St. Thomas the Apostle Parish was a Polish-American Roman Catholic parish founded in 1914, at the eastern edge of the east side Polish neighborhoods of Detroit.[2] A church was constructed in 1923, and the parish had both a grade school and a high school.[2] The parish was one of the first to experience changes in population, as the original Polish residents began moving out in the mid-20th century. The parish was closed in 1989, and the church demolished soon after.[2]

The school currently serves as St. Thomas Assessment Center for troubled youths.[3]


St. Thomas School

The parish complex at St. Thomas the Apostle comprised six buildings, including the church, rectory, school, and convent.[4]

The church was essentially of Romanesque design, with some Art Deco aspects. It was built of brick laid over Dennison interlocking tile, sitting atop a limestone base. The building was trimmed with limestone and Tuscan glazed faience in various colors.[4] The facade was a series of gable-roof blocks, roofed with Spanish tile. The primary entrance was through a central, side-gable block, sized to match the nave.[4] The entrance was recessed into the center of a projecting porch and surrounded by columned arches. A massive Eucharistic relief was set high in the center of the facade.[4] The church boasted a wealth of decorative art, including stained glass and bronze works.[4]

The rectory was a large, two-story building with a dormer-attic.[4]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church Profile 1985 from
  3. ^ St. Thomas Assessment Center from Holy Cross
  4. ^ a b c d e f Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and Rectory from the state of Michigan