1014 E. Ashman St., Midland, MI
Designed by Alden B. Dow FAIA in 1953
Alden B. Dow began the initial drawings for the East Ashman Church of God in April of 1953. A reduced version of the presentation drawing was published a month later in the Midland Daily News with the caption announcing the launch of a fundraising campaign for the new church. “It will approximate 45 by 165 feet,” the caption noted, “and a seating capacity of 300 will be provided in the nave. Construction will be on a unit plan with an approximate cost of $150,000.”
Construction contracts were signed in November 1955. Exterior walls of Chicago Common pink brick are topped by a steeply-pitched shingle roof. Tall glass windows project outward at an angle, giving the façade the look of a ship’s prow. On both sides, the brick is interrupted by sections of horizontal redwood siding. The entrance is on one side of the church under a covered porch. Original elevation drawings reveal the lower level on the east side; parallel rows of windows on both upper and lower levels sit under a wood trellis.
The interior features a vaulted exposed redwood ceiling with laminated arches and brick walls. On the lower level, classrooms and a study flank a large central gathering space. In 1963, a balcony faced with horizontal redwood boards was added at the back of the nave, opposite the church’s altar.
Over the years, the church has been significantly enlarged and altered, and is now the New Life Vineyard Church.