Authors ask support for historic churches book

Detroit— The authors of an extensive book about Detroit’s rich heritage of church architecture are hoping to raise enough money to get their book published, and they are up against a Dec. 31 deadline to reach their goal.

St. Mary’s Church in Greektown, the interior pictured here, is one of 12 Catholic churches in the book ‘Detroit’s Historic Places of Worship’ by Wayne State University Press.

The good news is that $8,500 has been pledged to support the project, as of this past Monday. But the whole thing collapses if the full $10,000 isn’t pledged by the end of the year.

Authors Marla A. Collum and Barbara Krueger have written “Detroit’s Historic Places of Worship,” which is being billed as the first and only comprehensive survey of historic churches in the city. In their text, they tell the story of each church’s founding, and then trace its development and changes up to the present time.

In all, 37 churches are represented, 12 of them Catholic. Due out in September 2012, the 256-page cloth-bound book will be priced at $39.95

The book describes each structure’s architecture, as well as notable features such as statues and stained-glass windows. And it is richly illustrated with interior and exterior photos by Detroit-area photographer Dirk Bakker.

The authors researched public resources, church archives and oral histories provided by clergy, parishioners and staff. Research was also conducted on the stained-glass workers, stone carvers, ceramic workers, wood carvers, organ companies, mural painters, architects, and builders.

With all of its full-color photo, the book will cost in excess of $25,000  to print, and the publisher —Wayne State University Press — is requiring that $10,000 of that cost be underwritten before it will go forward.

Donors at various levels will receive acknowledgements or other special benefits in connection with the publication. All royalties from the sale of the book will benefit historic preservation inDetroit.

Details of the benefits of donations, and how to donate, can be found by accessing the book’s Facebook page or by going to and clicking on Kickstarter.

Collum is grants manager at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC. From 1998 to 2008 she was historic review officer for theDetroit Planning and Development Department and also served on the Board of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. She has a master’s degree in historic preservation from Eastern Michigan University.

Krueger, a graduate of EMU’s historic preservation program, is a research associate  with the Michigan State University Museum’s Michigan Stained Glass Census, a past president of Hartland Area Historical Society and a founding member and on the board of the American Glass Guild.