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City Methodist Church (Gary, Indiana)

“Economic factors often account for the demise of sacred structures,” says Joffe of the City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana, which had a congregation of 3,000 in its heyday. “Like other U.S. structures in the book, it suggests a flip side to the positivist, always growing and improving American dream,” he adds. The church fell victim to the collapse of the steel industry and the city’s population moving to the suburbs. “It seems that this project succeeded, until changes in economic fortunes spelled doom,” says Joffe. “So we see the poignancy of its ruined state now, given the high hopes of the original constructors.”

10 Spectacular Abandoned Places of Worship

From a church standing in the center of a lake to a mosque in the middle of a desert, these places of worship haven't stood the test of time yet are all the more beautiful as a result

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest