Most unusual-an Abraham Lincoln statue gracing the outside of a church. Yet, that’s exactly the case in regards to Christ Church Cranbrook-located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In fact, the exterior of the church building features multiple statues of famous persons between its windows. The statues are elevated on the sides of the church to the second story level.
According to the book Seeking Lincoln in Michigan: A Remembrance Trail by Weldon E. Petz and Roger L. Rosentreter the statue of Lincoln was probably created by Lee Lawrie who was born in Germany and studied under the great Augustus Saint-Gaudens. However, another sculptor was also (and equally?) involved in the project-Ulric Ellerheusen. The authors point out that the Lincoln statue has a “presidential pose” but note that Abraham Lincoln had a beard during his presidency. The Lincoln statue at Christ Church Cranbrook is beardless. That being said- the facial features of the Lincoln statue are magnificent- to say the least.
The authors go on to say that the church, with its “distinctive features” was consecrated September 26, 1928. The church was a realized dream of the Booths (no relation to John Wilkes booth). George Booth, of Detroit newspaper fame and his wife Ellen-the daughter of James Scripps (founder of the Detroit News) had wanted a church specifically for the Bloomfield area. The result of their desire still remains today.
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