This Sunday I went to Church, actually, three churches. It was cathartic, inspiring, and exciting. This has been a long, hard year for my family and an opportunity to get out with some good friends and do what we love to do was just what I needed (who says asbestos, rusty nails, and unidentifiable toxins aren't good for you😲). Researching, exploring, and photographing places where people worked, lived, and worshiped is of particular interest to me. Growing up in Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas has given me access to our country's industrial past. A past that is disappearing quickly and I think puts more importance on documenting before it’s gone.
Cleveland, and more specifically, the east side has many abandoned churches. Some locations have been vacant for years and have long been scrapped and vandalized. I don’t have a problem revealing well known spots like this, but I will not specifically give locations of more recently abandoned churches and factories that haven’t been wrecked by vandals yet.
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Slovakian Catholic Church is southeast from downtown. Built in 1926, this was the second church in this location that also includes a school. The church closed it’s doors in 1992. I believe the church was used by other religious communities for several years after the closing of the parish.
Another church explored was in East Cleveland. This church looked to be abandoned for quite a while with most of the stained glass broken and lots of water damage making for some cautious stepping so as not to fall through the floor! My favorite “feature” of this church was the “vine window” most of the glass was gone, but the vines had taken over and streached in toward the sanctuary.
The last church we found was much more recently vacated. The stained glass was still intact and several pianos and organs were still undamaged. The gothic architecture of the church building intrigued me the most. I wasn’t able to dig up much history on this location, but it appears that it’s been home to at least a couple different churches over the years.
Thanks for stopping by, and please take care if you do some exploring.