You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 11:20 a.m.

Watch the demolition of former Greek Church on North Main Street in Ann Arbor

By Ben Freed


The former Greek Church on North Main Street was being torn down beam by beam Tuesday morning.

Ben Freed |

This post has been updated with the final sale price of the former Greek Church property.

Demolition was under way early Tuesday morning at the former Greek Church building on North Main Street in Ann Arbor. The property is being auctioned off by the county as part of a larger tax-foreclosure auction of 67 parcels of land.

The property was formerly the home of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which moved several years ago to Scio Township.

The auction closed at about 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. As of 11 a.m., the former church property was listed at $371,000, up from a starting price of $365,051. By 1:30, the price was $400,000 - the price shot up to a closing price of $610,200 in the last half hour of bidding.

County officials said the final bid amount is not yet available - and the information is removed from the website when bidding is closed.

The starting price was calculated to recoup the county’s losses on the property and pay for the demolition.

A blighted house at First and Kingsley was also demolished Monday by the city. Watch the smaller dome of the former church building being demolished by construction equipment:

Ben Freed covers business for Reach him at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Old Salt

Thu, Sep 13, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

Why did AA low this beutiful building to be torn dowm just like they allowed the seven historical homes on 5th ave torn down for those ugly buildings there now. We don't hve a Historical Society in this city it is a hysteriacal Society..


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

What a shame. In Europe they treasure their old buildings. Everything here is torn down.

Ashley Zimmerman

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

I think a lot of upset ppl are forgeting that this church congregation didn't shrink and die off, it grew and experienced so much community that the building was no longer helpful so they built and moved to a different, much larger one. I'm sure there's a little bit of nostalgia for some that is grieved by this demo, but it comes with the reminder of what made them move in the first place- growth, prosperity, and an increasing effectiveness in the community that resulted in changed lives. I've never been there and am not Greek but I've visited Knox Presbyterian next door to their new location on Scio Church Rd, and anyone can see that St. Nicholas is alive and well and not missing their old building.


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

I think it is important to post this. I too thought of the former members of the congregation, and their sadness at the demolition. But they do not have to read the article. The headline gives them ample warning. And they do not have to start nor watch the video. Finally the church moved from the building freely of their own choice. They were not forced out in any way. So I think it is necessary for to post this for the rest of us who depend on this site for complete coverage of events in Ann Arbor.


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

And you wonder why developers get such a bad rap in this town. Hey, I wonder how that old Georgetown Kroger's project is coming along?


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

What I'd like to know was when did it open. I seem to remember the Greek Orthodox community celebrating its opening. Then they grew too large and moved out of town. I'd love to know the opening date. It wasn't THAT long ago--maybe 30-40 years?


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

Laura, You're right! Thanks. And thanks to Mr. Cocorelis

laura wolf

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

they put on addition at some point. maybe you are remembering that celebration

GeorgeGrcocoG Cocorelis

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 9:39 a.m.

My parents were married there over 60 years ago. My sister, her children and I were baptized there as we're thousands of others. I'm sure the church opened well before that. This event seems out of character for the Ann Arbor I remember and to where I long(ed) to return.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

So, has time to send a camera crew to film this event and gives news coverage, but it doesn't have anyone to report on things like our high school athletics that is not football? I am disgusted and ashamed for these decisions. How about a bit of uplifting news and celebration of positiveness? And all of the people who are delighted about this ask yourself how you would feel if a place that meant a lot to you became a blighted eyesore and then was shown being demolished? How do you feel? How do you think the Greek Orthodox of Ann Arbor feel? Is this report serving them in anyway except to hurt? This group provides a lot to the Ann Arbor community and it would not be where it is today without their contribution. Have some respect. At least add some thing in the report that shows respect.

Middle America

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

Actually, I guess this is the first day where it won't be a building!

Middle America

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

A handheld camera is hardly a "camera crew". You are overreacting. If it is so utterly devastating to the Greek Orthodox community, why did they sell it? At the end of the day, its a building.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

My take on it is that if the congregation that sold it didn't care what happened to it, why should the community at large?


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Agreed. They should have demolished it if they could not sell it.

GeorgeGrcocoG Cocorelis

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 9:50 a.m.

Your 'take' is based on hard facts, of course. So reassuring to see contemporary discourse continuing in this manner.

Middle America

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 12:33 a.m.

At least whatever replaces it will actually pay taxes.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

What makes you think they didn't care what happened to it? Developers sell a good game.

Middle America

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

Its just a building.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

Really, blame the congregation for outgrowing their church?


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Tax foreclosure ? I always thought Church properties were exempt from the tax roles , or had this property been slod to a developer who didn't pay his taxes?


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 8:39 p.m.

This property had been sold to a developer whose project went belly-up.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.

I wasn't going to watch the video at first.But now......


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

I did an wow, what is that dome made of? I thought glass. It looks like plywood or something. Going to be different driving by there now.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

Final price was $610,200.

Linda Peck

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

I would have preferred to see the demolition of the house on First and Kingsley in a video, rather than this once Holy Church. I attempted to watch it, but stopped.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

I don't have to watch this video, as it is happening out my back door...and I am happy to see it occur. Indeed, this property has both personal and community history attached to it. Unfortunately it has fallen into disrepair. The building, while perhaps has individual meaning, is not architecturally significant. In short, the extraordinary cost to rehab this building is far greater than it is worth, economically nor for the community at large. Up until today's demolition, the building and property has become an eyesore, and a danger. I would wager that most, if not all, the other neighbors of this property are as happy as I am to see it go. I hope that something significant will replace it.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

Whoever bought it from the Greek Orthodox church people is totally responsible for that.

5c0++ H4d13y

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

I would think the scappers would get to it first or do they scrap from the pile that's left over?


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

Zeus will not be amused.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

This seems to be done in really poor taste. Watching a video of a church being destroyed, which was obviously an important community center for many, is sad. I also wonder, "Why would I want to watch this?"


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

At least whatever goes on that land in the future will be consecrated land. Can't wait to see what goes in there.

Haran Rashes

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

I agree with Bonsai. While the location may have been a church at one time, in my opinion, a church is not building but is its congregation and members. Today, it was just a blighted building. The "church" that used to be on Main Street, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, was not destroyed and appears to be doing well at his new home on Scio Church Road.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

because it was a landmark in town that had fallen into disrepair for years -- the fact that something has finally been done is worthy of celebration, and I'd be saying that if it were a mosque, synagogue, grocery store or student high rise -- as a longtime resident of the city, it is newsworthy to me that this blight is gone, and the video evidence is part and parcel of the newsworthiness

Haran Rashes

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

That location on Main Street has been part of Ann Arbor's religious history for close to a century. In the 1920s it was where Beth Israel Congregation was located, long before its move to Hill Street (in a shared building with U of M Hillel at the same location where Hillel's Mandell Berman Center is today) and its 1978 move to its present home on Washtenaw.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

great job capturing this moment in Ann Arbor's history


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Why would I want to watch this? It's sad. There are probably elderly people still living in this community who remember their church with pride.


Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

I know. I would always feel so happy when I would crive by it. The house at Kingsley and First was a source of great pride and Joy, also. Note to A2 Gov. Don't stop there. Promptly head north on Main.

Middle America

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

Crocodile tears.

Haran Rashes

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Elderly? I believe that St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church moved to its new location on Scio Church Road about 10 years ago. So I am sure even some young people who remember worshiping in the building on Main Street.


Tue, Sep 11, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

yes, because the news should only make people happy