Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 31, 2011.


Celebrate and preserve Detroit's rich architectural history.

Thank you!  The outpouring of support for this book has been truly amazing.  Hitting our goal so quickly now allows us to consider what can be done with additional funds.

So, what will we do with more funding?

We've put our heads together with our publisher to see what we might be able to accomplish with additional dollars.  Please be assured that the extra funds will still be put to good use!  Additional dollars will help our nonprofit publisher, WSU Press, keep the retail price of this high-quality hardcover book low - extending the book's reach - and we'll get to work on an electronic version of the book!

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Why fund us?

You've seen images of Detroit in recent years - abandoned, crumbling buildings and vacant, open prairies.  That point of view omits the architectural and historical legacy of the city that has been painstakingly preserved in so many neighborhoods by Detroit's active preservationists, architects, historians, and church congregations.  Over 20 years in the making, Detroit's Historic Places of Worship shows another side, a brighter side, of the city's history and future.  We need your help to bring this book to life.

About the book

This book is the first and only comprehensive survey of Detroit’s historic places of worship. Every effort was made to feature a sampling that reflects the extensive variety of building styles as well as those of great architectural and historical significance. The book progresses chronologically, focusing on Detroit's most prolific era of church building, the 1850s to the 1930s.

A sketch of the founding congregation opens each entry and traces its development and changes to the present day. The main body of each entry provides a thorough architectural description and includes notable sculptures, stained glass, and other decorative and structural features of the building. Each entry was extensively researched utilizing public resources, church archives, and oral histories provided by clergy, parishioners, and church staff. Research was also conducted on the stained-glass workers, stone carvers, ceramic workers, wood carvers, organ companies, mural painters, architects, and builders who worked on these incredible buildings.

Each building is brought to life through the stunning images of Detroit-based photographer Dirk Bakker.  Some of the churches have now fallen into disrepair, making Dirk's photos the last, best images of their majestic facades and interiors.

We hope this book will rekindle and perpetuate an appreciation of these magnificent buildings, and of Detroit itself, as the city continues to undergo a twenty-first-century transformation.

How we'll use the money

We want to present the essence of these churches through Dirk Bakker's gorgeous photos.  Because of the beautiful, full color photos, this book will cost in excess of $25,000 to print. 

We and our nonprofit publisher are committed to making this book accessible to as many readers as possible by keeping it reasonably priced.  In order to do that, we need your support to underwrite a portion of the production expenses.

All royalties from this book will be donated to benefit historic preservation in Detroit.

Thank you for your support of our project, and the city we love!


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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    10 backers

    We will send you a personal thank you, on a notecard featuring one of Detroit's historic churches.

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    15 backers

    Set of notecards with beautiful, full-color images from the book. Set includes 4 notecards with envelopes. Domestic shipping included.

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  • Pledge $60 or more
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    72 backers

    Just in time for next year's holiday season, we'll send you a signed copy of our book to grace your coffee table or to give as a gift! Shipping to the lower 48 is included in all our rewards, though international shipping will be extra, based on actual shipping costs.

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    27 backers

    You’ll get a whole package of thanks! We’ll send you a signed copy of our book, an 8x10 photo print of one of Detroit’s historic churches, and a set of notecards.

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    9 backers

    Haven't you always wanted to see your name in lights? We will list you as a Supporter on the acknowledgments page in the book and send you all the goodies from the $100 level as well!

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    2 backers All gone!

    As a special thank you for your gift, we’d like to give you a personal tour of some of Detroit’s most beautiful churches when our book launches in fall 2012! Patron listing in the book and all the goodies from the $100 level are also included. Transportation to Detroit and lodging are not included.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    3 backers

    Thank you so much - you've made a huge contribution to this project! We’d like to celebrate with you at our book launch party in Detroit in the fall of 2012! You’ll get 2 VIP tickets to the party, along with a Patron listing in the book, and all the goodies from the $100 level. Transportation to Detroit and lodging are not included.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    You are truly a key Benefactor of this project, and will be recognized as such in the book and at the fall 2012 book launch party in Detroit! How does a tour by the authors, 4 VIP tickets to the party, a signed copy of the book, notecards, plus your choice of five, 8x10 color prints from the book sound? Sorry, but transportation and lodging are not included.

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