Gary’s first Methodist church was established in 1906. In October of 1916, Dr. William Grant Seaman became pastor. Seaman relished his role in the growing congregation, but he had bigger dreams; he wanted to build a new church to serve the social, cultural, and spiritual needs of the town’s citizens.
After the Methodist Church abandoned the building, it was later sold to Indiana University which continued to make use of Seaman Hall as a satellite campus.
Over the years several attempts were made to renovate and re-appropriate the City Methodist church, but none would come to fruition before October of 1997 when a large fire ravaged downtown Gary. The fire destroyed most of the roof, exposing the interior to the elements and accelerating decay.
It wasn't until 1999 the city finally put up a fence around the long-abandoned church to protect it from vandals and drug dealings.
Today the church still stands, but most of the complex is beyond repair. There isn’t much left of the gym; after the 1997 opened up the roof, it later completely collapsed in 2010 (below). Nearly every window in Seaman Hall is missing, and the building is crumbling inside and out.