Ruins of an abandoned church – Gary, Indiana

CMC was shut down in the 70’s due to a lack of attendance and suffered a fire in ’97 (thanks to Corby for the correction!). To this day,  stands in the streets of Gary, Indiana as a relic of the past – the vast sanctuary, shadowy hallways, and decaying innards a testament to the ravages of time.

After about three minutes of driving around a bit aimlessly, I saw a spire above a few old looking buildings about a street away from me. I navigated my way over and found myself at the base of one of the biggest and most beautiful abandoned buildings that I’d ever seen. The second I ducked into a side door, I knew that I’d found it. To the left, a stage littered with all sorts of clothing and wreckage. To the right, a small room leading into a huge sanctuary.

I left after snapping a few photos and returned later with Elise. Here are the results:

First, we hit the sanctuary. It was beautiful, cold, and quiet. Snow drifted in through holes in the   roof and settled on the brick floors.

Following that, we made our way to other areas of the building. The theater, long destroyed, showed no sign of snow, but the upstairs auditorium was completely coated with a thin dusting.

On our way down, we saw a makeshift living room set up. I assume someone moved this stuff for a photo or something, but I’d like to think a crazy man lives here in the summer.

Even long abandoned and freezing cold, animals make this beautiful building their home.

I plan on getting back there as soon as possible to take more photos – we had to give up eventually because the sun was quickly fading and our fingers were completely numb from the cold. I plan on exploring more of Gary with my camera soon in the future, as well as the surrounding areas.

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59 thoughts on “Ruins of an abandoned church – Gary, Indiana

  1. Laurie Walker

    A photo of this church was featured in collection in today’s New York Times, and I was compelled to look into it a bit closer. The cornerstone was laid in 1925, and closed in 1975? So this building was in use for 50 meager years. 50 years. A substantial building that would have cost the “faithful” quite a pretty penny. And just 35 years later, the roof is flying off. You know, in some places in the world, there are buildings, churches or otherwise that are 500 years old and still standing. Maybe a more modest facility for worship would have been more prudent? Indeed, this is indicative of the obvious truth: We should build houses of worship with a mind toward Planned Obsolescence.

  2. Lady K

    i get so tired of people talking about how scared they are of Gary. If you are so scared then don’t come here. Gary is a beautiful City with beautiful people. If yo haven’t been looking at the news lately people are getting killed everyday in the urban cities and the suburbs. So stop with this sick mentality that Gary is so scary. It is not. Do you carry a club or travel with packs for your safety where you live? Educate your mind and stop sounding foolish.

  3. Kyle Post author

    Lady K, I’m not sure if your comment is directed at me or other people. I can understand where you’re coming from – a lot of people exaggerate the dangers of Gary – but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t take precautions. Murders per capita are 8x the national average in Gary. That’s not some meaningless statistic.

    That said, I’m fairly certain many of the murders are motivated by things other than to murder some random photographer and the other crime rates are at least reasonably low (burglary is only 2x the national average). My biggest tip to newcomers to Gary (and pretty much any urban area/city) is to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. You’re more likely to get hurt physically by the abandoned building you’re in than by a random mugger.

  4. jana

    wow, Thanks a lot Kyle, for publishing your perception of your “trip” to Gary _ I dont talk about your answer to Lady k because I can understand her point of view (specially when I am searching for pictures of Gary) and I do understand your answer too.. btw I am really want to go soon as possible to shoot there also. You did a good job with your compositions!

  5. Vickyvail

    I often check the website to see if more pictures were taken of Gary, IN. I’ve been away for over 20 years now. I’ve seen the city fade away from my late teens up until this point. I always thought Gary had beautiful structure and neighborhoods until some people stop caring about their own neighborhoods. It takes a village to up keep our community. I use to take picture myself of Gary, but infortunately the pictures were lost and damaged. The funds of this city was mishandled and a lot of wrong people were in office. This is the type of results you get when money is mishandled. The city would have been so beautiful still if we all could have just stick together. There is nothing there for our young people so what do they do, find something distructive to do, vandalize, steal, etc. I had my car stolen when I came to visit some years back. The same day I arrived some young men followed me until I decided to park my car and rest. A couple of hours later, my car was gone. Right now the best thing to do for dear old Gary, In is to just pray for one another and try to live right each and every day. Let treat each other like we want to be treated. I still love my home town, but I can’t see myself living there. Keep taking picture!

  6. Kyle Post author

    Thanks so much for checking in on the site and sorry I haven’t updated in so long. I’ve been crazy busy lately so I haven’t been able to get out and take any photos. I’m sorry to hear about your experience with the city and I can totally understand what you’ve gone through. Although I wasn’t every around for the pinnacle of Gary living, I’ve talked to many people who lived in Gary or went to Gary for leisure that are just as upset about the decline of the city. Hopefully some of the landmarks survive for a resurgence one day.

  7. Pingback: Faith Alone: 7 Stunning Abandoned Churches & Chapels | WebUrbanist

  8. Bob F.

    As I understand it, Architect and Preservationist Bill Latoza has been trying to get City Hall interested in turning the church into a ruins garden, but they keep putting it off.

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