St. Anne's Catholic Church Essay

887 words - 4 pages

St. Anne’s Parish describes “who we are” in Detroit. Many people disagree with this belief because a place of religious worship cannot describe everyone in a city. The argument is reasonable, but St. Anne’s is more than a place of worship. St. Anne’s Catholic Church is a symbol that represents the positive and negative connotations of our city. We as a city seem to forget about our past, even though it continues to linger with us. St. Anne’s is a Catholic Church originally known as Ste. Anne de Detroit Catholic Church. St. Anne’s was founded on July 26, 1701 and is the second oldest operating Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Father Gabriel Richard played a major role in St. Anne’s impact in the city. Father Gabriel Richard arrived in Detroit in 1796 and soon thereafter helped found a school which evolved into the University of Michigan. Father Gabriel Richard was an advocator of success and his part at St. Anne’s created a deep rooting in Detroit. (Farmer, 531-532)
St. Anne’s has played a major role in developing the city of Detroit and will continue to do so in the future. However, the structure of St. Anne’s is continuing to wither. The Church has been through eight restorations since its original founding. (Gay, 98-99) Throughout the inside of the Church, ceiling damage and plaster falling off walls can be viewed. The withering features of St. Anne’s Parish describes “who we are” in Detroit. St. Anne’s is a beautiful work of art that is falling apart because there is a lost sense of appreciation. St. Anne’s is filled with hand crafted statues and ceiling painting that would be considered magnificent in other cities, but are however viewed as a sign of the past in Detroit.
The physical aspect of St. Anne’s is unique in many ways. Through every renovation that the Church has undergone, a small piece of its past is left behind. The exterior of the Church is made up of mostly brick and some granite. The Church is built in the Gothic rival style with flying buttresses, displaying the French influence. However, the 1886 St. Anne’s restoration is a Neo-Gothic building. (Farmer, 531-532) The change from Gothic to Neo-Gothic style can be explained in the change of art and architecture by our culture in the late 19th century. During this time period, Detroit changed its way of seeing through architecture and would soon in the 20th century change its way of seeing through society. Since the 19th century, “we as a city” have broken many ties to racism, social stratification, and hatred. St. Anne’s faces a landscaped brick plaza and the main entrance includes...

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