WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

This 1924 Catholic church - and the girls’ high school that it connects with – still sits abandoned and crumbling as it has for the last few decades at the corner of LaSalle Gardens and 12th Street (also known as Rosa Parks Blvd.).

The insides of the St. Agnes Catholic Church may be dusty, crumbly, smattered with graffiti, dangerous, littered with broken glass, shards of woods, holes in the floors, broken steps, falling architecture, etc…..but even with all its faults, you can still tell how magnificent it once was. Oh sure, there were many other churches in Detroit that were more glorious and grandiose, but for such a smaller church, this one held its own very well.

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When St. Agnes began construction in 1922, there were hardly any homes in the neighborhood…but by the time it was finished in 1924, a number of homes had appeared.

According to Atlas Obscura, all seemed to be going well for the church until the mid-1960s. The 1967 Detroit rebellion took its toll on the neighborhood and it began its decline. Families and parishioners left, and the church soon found it was not able to sustain itself without the help of the parish.

During this time of civil unrest, many of the buildings along 12th Street were torched and burned to the ground. The church remained unharmed, but the damage was felt. People moved away from the neighborhood in droves.

When 1986 rolled around, the church parish held just 162 families and eventually decided that was it – time to shut down and sell. After the Detroit Archdiocese put it up for sale, it was purchased by another congregation, but they never claimed it. From then on, it was neglected, deserted, forgotten, and further deteriorated. Soon the church was stripped by scavengers, vandals had their time, and harsh weather did the rest.

Fences and ‘no trespassing’ signs have been put up so obey them if you visit or drive by.

Abandoned St. Agnes Church, Detroit


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