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.
|Click on thumbnail images for full photograph.|
|Collapsed archway with some of the little remaining stained glass as seen through the sanctuary from north to south.|
|North side of complex with two of the storefronts which were incorporated into the structure.|
|The commercial office/storefront wing.|
|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 Those buildings have been replaced by vacant lots.|
|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.|
|The balcony of the auditorium behind the commercial space.|
|Detail of the balcony facade.|
|Inside one of the storefronts, from the rear.|
|Ornament above one of the entrances. "To Serve the Present Age"|
|Address plate reads "569 Seaman Hall." Rev. Seaman was the pastor of City Methodist who raised $1 million for construction of the church.|
|Address plate reads "575 Church Office."|
|Exterior shot of ornaments and what used to be windows.|
|Ornaments in the archway of the main entrance facing 6th Avenue.|
|The impressive face of City Methodist.|
|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) - 7½ minutes
Third Tour - July, 2000 (actually an extension of the second tour. More of the educational wing and auditorium) - 5½ 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?
**ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE ORGAN AND MR.
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.
Historical and Community Content
NEW!! DeMotte, Indiana History (1997)
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
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)
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)
Indiana District Church of the Nazarene former Campground (San Pierre, Lomax
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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