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Gary in Lake County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

City Church

 
 
City Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, June 19, 2022
1. City Church Marker
Inscription.  
Front Side
In the early 1900s, immigrants, white migrants, and black southerners came to Gary for work in the steel industry. Rev. William G. Seaman founded City Church downtown in 1926 to serve as a Christianizing influence on the diverse population. The ornate Methodist cathedral, funded in part by U.S. Steel, housed a gym, theater, music studio, cafeteria, and commercial unit.

Back Side
Open seven days a week, the church served as a meeting space for many events in the city. Although the congregation remained segregated, the church  offered programs for African Americans and immigrants. Membership peaked in the 1950s, but fell in the 1960s when white residents fled Gary for the suburbs. The church struggled to adapt to the community and closed in 1975.
 
Erected 2019 by Indiana Historical Bureau, Gary Downtown Emerson Spotlight, Legacy Foundation, Faith CDC, and City Of Gary Redevelopment Commission. Marker number source: https://www.in.gov/history/state-historical-markers/find-a-marker/. (Marker Number 45.2019.2.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed
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in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1926.
 
Location. 41° 36.019′ N, 87° 20.3′ W. Marker is in Gary, Indiana, in Lake County. Marker is at the intersection of West 6th Avenue and Washington Street, on the left when traveling east on West 6th Avenue. Marker is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of West 6th Ave and Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gary IN 46402, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lake Wind Sand Composition - Gary State Bank Building (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gary Indiana: Street Car System (about 700 feet away); The Fusion (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gary City Hall Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Richard Gordon Hatcher (approx. ¼ mile away); Mayor Richard G. Hatcher (approx. ¼ mile away); Spanish American War Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Elbert H. Gary (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gary.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of Gary Methodist Church. This website is published by Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana as part of their digital civil rights museum titled Indiana Crossroads: Hoosier
City Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, June 19, 2022
2. City Church Marker
Civil Rights.
Constructed in 1925, Gary Methodist Church once towered as the largest Methodist Church in the Midwest.[1] Originally named City Church, the impressive structure is located on 6th Avenue and Washington Street.[2] ... U.S. Steel, the primary provider of jobs in Gary at the time, donated the plot of land and half the money needed for construction, approximately $400,000 of the $800,000 total cost.
(Submitted on June 27, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana.) 

2. City Church: Spirituality and Segregation in Gary. This website is published by the Indiana State Library, Indiana Historical Bureau on the "Indiana History Blog."
Historian James B. Lane contended that “Because of U.S. Steel’s limited concept of town planning, two strikingly different Gary’s emerged: one neat and scenic, the other chaotic and squalid.”
(Submitted on June 27, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana.) 

3. City Church - Indiana Historical Marker. This Indiana government website fully documents the 10 references used in the text of this historical marker.
Installed 2019 Indiana Historical Bureau, Gary Downtown Emerson Spotlight, Legacy Foundation, FAITH CDC, and City of Gary Redevelopment Commission
(Submitted on June 27, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana.) 
 
Marker Location on Corner image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, June 19, 2022
3. Marker Location on Corner
City Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, September 14, 2019
4. City Church
City Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Lou Donkle, June 19, 2022
5. City Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 28, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 20, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana. This page has been viewed 544 times since then and 170 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 20, 2022, by Lou Donkle of Valparaiso, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 22, 2024