Saint Mary’s Part 2

Photo © Matt Kulbacki – All rights reserved

Happy Friday everyone! We close out the week with an amazing set of photos from Matt Kulbacki look at the amazing old St. Mary’s Academy building in some fine detail. There’s nothing I can add to these shots, they speak for themselves. Have a safe weekend everyone, and we’ll see you back here Monday.

Photo © Matt Kulbacki – All rights reserved

Photo © Matt Kulbacki – All rights reserved

Photo © Matt Kulbacki – All rights reserved

Photo © Matt Kulbacki – All rights reserved

Photo © Matt Kulbacki – All rights reserved

Photo © Matt Kulbacki – All rights reserved

16 Comments on Saint Mary’s Part 2

  1. “It’s gone. What are you going to do about it?”

    The WSMPS (Walkerville St. Mary’s Preservation Society) meets every Tuesday at 3PM at Taloola Cafe. They’re hoping to have the building rebuilt and reopened by 2017. I heard it’s going to be a casino when it opens though…


  2. “It’s gone. What are you going to do about it?”

    Remember what a significant loss it was to Windsor and remind us that such a short sighted gaffe like that should never happen again.

  3. The demolition of St. Mary’s Academy in 1977 was publically debated at length at Windsor City Council and there were many advocates for preserving at least the Tower, Auditorium and Chapel if not the whole building. Unfortunately no funding could be found for the various heritage proposals, despite concerted efforts to tap all resources.. The proposed fate of the building was well known. Some 15,000 attended the auction of the furniture and other items. The school had become too costly for the nuns who lived there. Their numbers were dwindling and they faced eventual poverty. The developers’ plan included building them a modern convent building in the 3100 block of Peter Street. They lived there in comfort until even that building became a burden for their ages and some of the nuns moved to nursing home care. The building is now a student rental.

  4. rws – could’ve been an outstanding loft apts, among other things. Same with a lot of other great buildings, like the PE Hotel, Ferry Warehouse, etc Instead they built a bunch of houses. Par for the course for Windsor.
    just because Windsor City Council couldn’t find a way to see down the road further is just further proof of the lack of foresight through the years by this city and it’s residents. Most other cities would’ve found a way to save such gems to help dignify the city’s future with it’s brilliant and prestigious past.

  5. Tom and all,
    What are we going to do about this huge “gaffe”? Continue to demolish buidings that shouldn’t be demolished.

    I have said it time and again. People like history, even if they don’t know it. Its just one of themany reasons people visit other cities so that they can see the rich culture of the city of the past. Windsor? Looks like it was built in the 1960s and 1970s. One would never know the rich history that used to be here.

  6. “It’s gone. What are you going to do about it?”

    Unfortunately, history repeats itself. There’s St. Thomas’ Alma College, a grand building with a similar function, which burned to the ground only four years ago while local citizens continued the fight to save it. Council made several flip-flops, finally approving its demolition just before that infamous fire (that was captured on the Google Maps satellite view).

    Andrew has done a great job capturing Windsor’s built heritage, present and past. Vigilance and action in preserving what we still have is something we can do about it, preventing further St. Mary’s Academies and Alma Colleges.

  7. my goodness, what a stunning building. had always heard about it but living in old walkerville as a kid, we never visited the “burbs”. but i wish i could have seen this amazing structure. So was it nestled right into the neighbourhood?

  8. What’s the point of preserving a rich history if the city isn’t rich anymore?? I heard that the vacant WD Lowe’s HS will endure the same fate soon since they can’t find a use for it. What’s that? The City of Windsor plans to tear down that ugly, poorly build 50s style modernist city hall and build new? Couldn’t they move city hall into WD Lowe’s HS and retrofit it instead of building new? It’d probably be cheaper and make city hall finally look prestigious. Wayne County’s Offices moved into the old Guardian Building in downtown Detroit to be more prestigious a couple years ago. But, our local government doesn’t want to maintain any semblance of our once rich history. They don’t want to lead-by-example. Just cheap new buildings for a broke ass city.

  9. David – Lowe is not for sale. It’s going to become the overflow french immersion site aka “The Gilles Campus” in the fall. The school board has used it regularly as a school for the last 2 or 3 years.

  10. Well, I really hope that’s the case. The only time I’ve seen it in the past decade with the lights on, or looking occupied, or people going in and out of it, or vehicles on the property while driving by was when it was used as a temporary school for Campbell students while Campbell was being renovated.

  11. Thank you Matt for the beautiful pictures. For those of us who grew up in South Windsor and played or used the pool at Central Park, we were always in awe of the Academy…. and a little scared of the nuns.

  12. I attended St. Mary’s for 13 years, kindergarten to 13th grade. it was a beautiful building, built in the midst of corn fields without a house or other building nearby. When it was built, the nuns expected the city to arrive at its doors soon, but it wasn’t until after WWII that housing began to creep up from the city. They had school buses that ferried us back and forth from the city bus terminal.

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