Project Description

The John S. Gray Branch of the Detroit Public Library was located at 1117 Field Street, at the corner of Agnes Street, in Detroit’s lower east side neighborhood.  John S. Gray was a successful businessman (candy and toys) in Detroit, served the first ever term as President of Ford Motor Company, and also serving on the Detroit Library Board.  When John S. Gray died in 1906, the City of Detroit built a library in his honor for dedicating his life to helping the City of Detroit to build libraries.  The John S. Gray Branch of the Detroit Public Library was built in 1906 and designed in Modern Italian style by noted-Detroit architects Malcomson and Higgonbotham.  The library was a simple one-story design with a full basement that had an auditorium and storage space.

The John S. Gray Branch of the Detroit Public Library was moved to the nearby Butzel Family Center in 1975.  The John S. Gray Branch of the Detroit Public Library closed down after, but within a few years, the nearby Church of the Messiah opened St. Christopher House.  St. Christopher House operated their office in the first floor of the former library.  St. Christopher House provided human services for the community resident that were in need of resources and referrals.  The resources and referrals included housing, shelter, clothing, food, mental health, substance abuse, and a variety of others.  St. Christopher House closed its doors around 2006 and has been abandoned ever since.

As of 2015, the former John S. Gray Branch of the Detroit Public Library still sits abandoned.  There are currently no plans for the property.