Monday, October 6, 2008

City Methodist Church - Gary, IN 10.05.08

Yesterday I ventured into Gary, IN. with my friend Jeremy of J. Jacobs Photography (he will have his own blog soon and I will post a link so everyone can check out his great work).
If you don't know to much about Gary I will give you a quick run down from what I know...

- Once was a booming city before most of the Steel industry left. US Steel still remains fully functional but that's about it.
- 60% + of downtown is abandoned.
- Gary goes back and forth with Detroit and New Orleans as the murder capital of the United States.
- That's what I know about Gary but you can read more on Wikipedia.

We stopped at a few locations I have visited before & one new spot that I have seen pictures of before but never visited myself.

Our first stop was the City Methodist Church (pictured above).

Completed in 1925; half of the cost was given by United States Steel. The nave had seating for 950 and, during the congregation's heyday, there were nearly 3,000 members. By 1973, that number had dwindled to 300. The congregation left the building in 1975, and it was used brieflly by another congregation. It was abandoned in the early 1980's and ravaged by vandalism over the ensuing years. A fire in 1997 did considerable damage to the nave, basically just leaving the walls and some ceiling
From City Methodist we traveled over to the Post Office & then to the Sheraton Hotel.
The Gary Sheraton Hotel opened in 1978, went bankrupt from lack of business within 5 years and closed in 1984.
And to finished of our day in Gary we visited what used to be Union Station.

Overall Gary is a very interesting spot to check out. If you do decide to venture out that way please BE CAREFUL & don't get caught. A lot of the buildings we entered are falling apart & are not safe at all.

And as usual you can check out the rest of the pictures on my FLICKR page.

1 comment:

Dave Yaros said...

First off the steel mills did not leave Gary. They are ALL still there, and still operating. In fact, U.S. Steel-Gary Works had record production figures last year.

What happened is, the entire steel manufacturing process was upgraded techonologically. This resulted in a massive reduction of manpower. At U.S. Steel-Gary works, alone, some 9,000 jobs were lost forever!

Downtown Gary, once thriving, now looks like Bahgdad. It is sad to see.

There is plenty of info and pics about Gary, IN available at the Dave's Den web site, for all who have an interest.