Abandoned City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana – June 2011. Urban Exploration / UrbEx.

More pics on my Flickr: www.flickr.com This church was featured in an episode of the TV show Life After People. The city of Gary, Indiana was founded as a booming steel city as the twentieth century passed, and areas downtown saw the construction of several impressive buildings during these prosperous early years. In 1925, a cornerstone ceremony took place at 577 Washington St. to commemorate the construction of a Gothic Revival church called City Methodist. It was completed 21 months later, at the cost of one million dollars – 5000 of which was contributed by the United States Steel Corp. (which also founded the city). Elbert Gary, the chairman of US Steel and origin of the city’s name, donated a Skinner organ as well. The Bedford limestone structure consisted of a 50-foot tall sanctuary nave and elaborate stonework, and was able to seat 950 worshipers; City Methodist had a congregation of nearly 3000 members in its heyday. The building was also home to Seaman Hall – a 1000 seat auditorium, and a gymnasium with a full size basketball court. Storefronts were built into the building, with hopes that the income would offset the enormous maintenance costs. During the 1920s, Pastor William Seaman rallied against the power of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, and welcomed black worshipers into City Methodist during a time when African Americans were not permitted in “white churches.” Gary entered a downward spiral during the 1960s, like many other industrial cities during the
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