Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church (Detroit, Michigan)

Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church (Detroit, Michigan)
Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church
(St. Joseph's Episcopal)
Viewed from across Woodward
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°21′53″N 83°4′9″W / 42.36472°N 83.06917°W / 42.36472; -83.06917Coordinates: 42°21′53″N 83°4′9″W / 42.36472°N 83.06917°W / 42.36472; -83.06917
Built: 1883, 1896
Architect: Malcomson & Higginbotham
Architectural style: Other, Romanesque Revival
Governing body: Private
MPS: Religious Structures of Woodward Ave. TR
NRHP Reference#: 82002908[1]
Added to NRHP: August 3, 1982

Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church, located at 5930 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, began in 1907. It was originally built as St. Joseph's Episcopal Church from 1893 to 1896 and is an historic Romanesque Revival church complex. On August 3, 1982, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1]



The original building in this complex, St. Joseph's Memorial Chapel, was a gift of Mrs. L.R. Medbury, and was built on the corner or Woodward and Medbury (now the Edsel Ford service drive).[2] The chapel, consecrated in 1884, soon proved too small, and a larger church, completed in 1896, was erected facing Woodward.[2]

In 1906, St. Joseph's congregation merged with that of the congregation of the nearby St. Paul's Cathedral. The St. Joseph's building was sold to Father Francis J. Vananthwerp in 1907, and Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church was established.[2] The new congregation altered some of the church's structure, extending the nave and adding an oversized, gilded statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary atop the south tower's hipped roof.[3]


The church, built from 1893 to 1896, is a massive rock-faced, cross-gable-roofed, sandstone Romanesque Revival structure.[2] The gabled facade is flanked by two towers: a tall, square, pyramid-roofed tower to the south and a round, conical-roofed tower on the north. The entrance between the towers is into a one-story vestibule; it is surmounted by a large rose window.[2]

See also

  • St. Joseph's Episcopal Church, 1926 (Detroit, Michigan)



  • Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3. 

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