NEW! Aerial photos of City Methodist taken August 15, 2005

NEW! Apparently the old edifice will soon fall victim to the wrecking ball.
 (Article from the Post-Tribune, June 7, 2005)

Article about City Methodist from the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana (June, 2005)

In the heart of downtown Gary, Indiana stands a monument to God.  It is City Methodist Church and it has been left to decay.  The property is owned by the City of Gary, and there are apparently plans (or at least an idea) to turn the church into a performing arts center (see article link below).  In the meantime this historic church sits and suffers the indignities of the elements as it awaits redemption.  The question is: will salvation come to this church in time.

On March 12, 2000, as part of a tour of Gary, the church board of Grace Church of the Nazarene in Portage (Indiana) visited the site and the photos below show a little bit of what was witnessed. In July, 2000, two of us returned to City Methodist to get an unhurried look at the structure.  From that trip, there are RealVideo tours featuring a series of still photographs taken from video which are linked lower on this page.

Images and text from the 1967 (?) City Methodist Church Directory

 There are also other images of Gary on a separate page.

If you have insights into any of the images here, please e-mail us so that we can provide the most accurate description of the Gary that was, the Gary that is, and the Gary that someday could be.  We also welcome photos of these and other Gary landmarks, as well as text submissions.  A byline credit will be given if your contribution is used on this web site.

MVC-005F.JPG (53289 bytes) Click on thumbnail images for full photograph.
MVC-006F.JPG (33659 bytes) Collapsed archway with some of the little remaining stained glass as seen through the sanctuary from north to south.
MVC-007F.JPG (63531 bytes)  
MVC-008F.JPG (69338 bytes) North side of complex with two of the storefronts which were incorporated into the structure.
MVC-009F.JPG (55336 bytes) The commercial office/storefront wing.
MVC-010F.JPG (59310 bytes) This glorious view of the church was taken from an lot across the street to the west where business once stood.  Those buildings have been replaced by vacant lots.
MVC-011F.JPG (61497 bytes) Construction date.  Photo taken through the chain link fence which was erected sometime after a fire destroyed much of the roof a few years ago.
MVC-018F.JPG (41002 bytes) The balcony of the auditorium behind the commercial space.
MVC-020F.JPG (50285 bytes) Detail of the balcony facade.
MVC-021F.JPG (39551 bytes) Inside one of the storefronts, from the rear.
MVC-022F.JPG (58955 bytes) Ornament above one of the entrances.  "To Serve the Present Age"
MVC-023F.JPG (48529 bytes) Address plate reads "569 Seaman Hall."  Rev. Seaman was the pastor of City Methodist who raised $1 million for construction of the church.
MVC-026F.JPG (51837 bytes) Address plate reads "575 Church Office."
MVC-027F.JPG (65298 bytes) Exterior shot of ornaments and what used to be windows.
MVC-001F.JPG (57948 bytes) Ornaments in the archway of the main entrance facing 6th Avenue.
MVC-007F.JPG (54860 bytes) The impressive face of City Methodist.

February 2002

Here are, finally, three short tours in RealVideo.  You will need the RealPlayer to view the files.  I was not able to get the motion to come through very clear, so the tours are a series of still images (no audio).  I think you can get an idea of the motion through the building.  The images were taken from videotape shot on two different occasions outside and inside City Methodist Church.

First Tour - March, 2000 (concentrated mostly on exterior,  sanctuary, and rooms just north of the sanctuary) - 7 minutes

Second Tour - July, 2000 (concentrates on sanctuary area again with more detail) - 7 minutes

Third Tour - July, 2000 (actually an extension of the second tour.  More of the educational wing and auditorium) - 5 minutes

  Still to come...
More photos of other Gary landmarks

Reply from reader:  (If you can help answer either of these questions, let me know by e-mail, and I will put you in touch with Ron.)

I'm quite distressed over the pictures of the City Methodist Church. As a young boy I had the pleasure of taking Organ lessons from Mr. Dwight Davis, the Organist at the church. I remember playing the beautiful pipe organ looking out over the sanctuary and thinking just how beautiful God's house is.

Question, can anyone tell me what happened to the Churches Pipe Organ and maybe even Mr. Davis?

Ron Hulse

Since I posted the above request for information, I have received several additional requests and some information about this subject.  Most recently (September, 2005), a lady who was a part of City Methodist e-mailed me the following:
"The organ from City Church was removed by Dwight Davis and given/sold to a friend of his installed in his home and later was destroyed by a fire in that home.
Dwight died in 2000, I think of cancer."

City Methodist is discussed in detail in "The Protestant Experience in Gary, Indiana: 1906-1975" by James Lewis.
Other Gary history resources are also available through Amazon.


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Historical and Community Content

NEW!! DeMotte, Indiana History (1997)

New project: American Life Histories, Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940
      (This will be an ongoing project with entries added frequently.)

Churches in DeMotte, Indiana

City Methodist - Gary's Sacred Ruin
     Selections from 1967 City Methodist Church Directory (January 2004)
     Historic Gary Church Set for Wrecking Ball (June, 2005)
     Aerial Photos of City Methodist (August, 2005)

Photographs of Historic Places in Jasper County, Indiana
     Jasper County Courthouse  (February, 2002)
     Rensselaer Carnegie Library (February, 2002)
     St. Joseph Indian Normal School (Drexel Hall) (February, 2002)
     Independence Methodist Church (October, 2002)
     Fountain Park Chautauqua (October, 2002)
     Remington Water Tower (February, 2005)

Memorial to Victims of Flight 4184 (February, 2002)

Lake Michigan Vistas (May, 2002)

Door Prairie Auto Museum (LaPorte, Indiana) (September, 2002)

Northwest Indiana District Church of the Nazarene former Campground (San Pierre, Lomax Station)
     Aerial Photos of former Campground (August, 2005)

Who's Who In the District (Northern Indiana Church of the Nazarene, 1939-40)

Nazarene Album (Northern Indiana District Church of the Nazarene, 1934)

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