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Featured Windows, December 2011

Cass Community United Methodist Church

Building: Cass Community United Methodist Church

City: Detroit

State: Michigan

Cass Community United Methodist Church

Cass Community United Methodist Church. 1883 original building: Mason & Rice, architects; 1891 building addition: Malcolmson & Higginbotham, architects. Photo: Andrew Jameson at en.wikipedia.

Cass Community United Methodist Church was founded in 1880 under the name of Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. The original portion of its limestone home, designed by Detroit architects Mason & Rice in a Richardsonian Romanesque style, was built in 1883. A large addition in 1891, the major part of the present church, was designed by Malcolmson & Higginbotham of Detroit. The building is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and Michigan State Historic Sites. The church is known for its many community outreach social service programs.

The north and south transepts of the 1891 building addition hold two large opalescent windows created by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company of Long Island, NY in about 1900. They were listed as “Floral and Ornamental Windows” in a Tiffany Studios pamphlet published ca. 1910. Smaller ornamental windows in the church narthex and west front also may have been made by Tiffany.

Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company was an early name of the company founded in 1885 by Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933); in 1902 the name was changed to Tiffany Studios. For several decades Tiffany and his staff of designers and craftspeople produced windows, lamps, mosaics, ceramics, metalwork and other fine objects to enhance building interiors. Many windows created by Tiffany Studios for Michigan buildings have been registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census. Some were featured in an earlier article (May 2008) about Tiffany’s work in Michigan.

North Transept Window

North Transept Window. Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company. ca. 1900. The central panel contains lily and passion flower designs that may symbolize the Virgin and the Passion of Christ. Photo: Joseph P. Messana, The Joseph P. Messana Slide Collection, Michigan Stained Glass Census, Michigan State University Museum.

Cass Community United Methodist Church has been registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census (MSGC 98.0014).


Bibliography: Show Bibliography

(MSGC 1998.0014)

Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, December , 2011.