The Ruins of City Methodist Church
What happened to it?
Gary, Indiana was out of a lot of jobs once the steel industry came crumbling down in the 1970's. People moved elsewhere, and the city never really recovered.
The church was only operating for 50 years, and stopped activity in 1975 after unsuccessful attempts to sell the building.
Since then, thousands of people have trekked through this mysterious shell of a once 9-story high structure.
Some people just pass through, others graffiti.
A lot of people take pictures, and numerous movies have been shot in the church. Nightmare on Elm Street and Transformers to name a few.
People have had their weddings here in the recent past.
Although it is such a beautifully tragic site, it is decaying rapidly. In 2011, there was a major roof collapse. Be very careful if you decide to explore the City Methodist Church.
How'd I come across this place?
Gary, Indiana is an eerie town.
I stumbled upon a few posts about Urbexing (Urban Exploring) Gary on Reddit, and once I saw the pictures of the church I knew I had to go.
I live in the Midwest and decided I'd take a day to travel, explore, and come back home with some mind-blowing pictures.
View of the church from the street.
Avoiding tickets and fines
So I have gotten a slap on the wrist for trespassing, and I have a trespassing ticket already. That being said: I would prefer not to get arrested.
I contacted Executive Director Ben Clement of the Gary Office of Film & Television to request a permit. This permit basically says I could be in the buildings on the list to shoot photos or videos without legal repercussions.
It was $50 for a day pass, and stated I could bring a model if I was doing photography. With this permit, I also was granted access to the Union Station, Palace Theater, and the Memorial Auditorium.
(Updated 3-29-2018) The church has been deteriorating rapidly over the past few years and was condemned in March of 2018. Permits are no longer being given, and anyone found inside is being removed.— citymethodistchurch.com
So can you still visit the church?
It has been a few years since I have explored the church, and different websites are saying different things. Your best bet would be to contact Ben Clements, the Executive Director of Gary Office of Film & Television and ask if it is still possible.
(219) 944-1201 is his home office and firstname.lastname@example.org is his email.
If you plan to UrbEx anywhere, go in a group or with someone who has knowledge in the area. Go during the day, and if at all possible get permission to be there. Cause no damage, and respect these beautiful historic sites.