Detroit lost one of its oldest churches on Saturday. After decades of neglect, First Unitarian was barbecued by a massive fire and demolished shortly thereafter. Was it spontaneous combustion? Brush Park residents don't think so. Late last summer, multiple appearances by a structural surveying crew seemed to hint that First Unitarian's owner, Salim Kemenko, was pondering demolition. We even snapped a photo gallery of the church last September in anticipation of an official demo request. That paperwork was never filed.
There is, however, one small bright side. At some point, First Unitarian's original stained glass windows (created in 1890 by John La Farge) were donated to the DIA, saving them from destruction.
· Neighbors mourn loss of historic Detroit church to suspicious fire [Freep]
· First Unitarian Church [Historic Detroit]