Please join fellow Columbia graduates for a downtown Detroit walking tour of some of the city's prominent historic churches in one of the oldest sections of Detroit. This small area is rich in history, including unique stories that touch on escaping slavery, the civil rights struggle, the disaster of razing the Black Bottom community, and the immigrant experience--especially for those coming from Germany, Italy and Greece.
Our guide, Mark Kwicinski, is a Columbia College grad and holds an M.A. from Wayne State University in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Always fascinated by Detroit and its history, Mark has been a longtime volunteer with the Detroit Historical Society. From 2017 through 2019, he led and wrote narratives for most of its popular Historic Houses of Worship tour bus program, bringing visitors to a different set of churches, synagogues, and mosques. Mark has graciously offered his wit and wisdom to our group for a couple of hours on Sunday, October 9, with an approximate walking distance of one mile.
Our starting point is Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church, at 646 Monroe Street in Greektown, the third oldest Roman Catholic parish in Detroit.
We will gather on the front steps of St. Mary's (which has a parking lot beside the church) and proceed inside for a 45-minute visit, narrated by Mark. He will describe the church's history and importance to Detroit while pointing out some of its stunning architectural highlights (as shown above).
Next we'll walk down Monroe through Greektown, stopping near The Second Baptist Church of Detroit, the oldest African American church in the Midwestern United States. There Mark will relate how Second Baptist and the former St. Matthew's Episcopal Church played pivotal roles in the Underground Railroad.
We'll also learn about Detroit's first synagogue and tour inside Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, at 438 St. Antoine Street, the oldest church building in continuous use in the City of Detroit.
Our tour will also introduce us to Holy Family Catholic Church, at 641 Chrysler Drive, founded by Sicilian and southern Italian immigrants, and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, located behind Old St. Mary's.
Although we cannot tour inside all the churches, there is plenty to see and share as we walk through the historic area.
The suggested minimum donation for this event is $10 per person.
MEET: The steps of Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 646 Monroe St, Detroit, MI 48226
PARK: In the commercial lot on the south side of St. Mary's Church. Parking attendants will be instructed to let Columbia Alumni tour participants park for free. Entrances are on St. Antoine or East Lafayette.
TIME: 1:30 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m. Expect to do about one mile of walking. If it looks like rain, please bring an umbrella.
COST: $10 per person