Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

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Brooklyn Branch Chapel Floor Plan

Main Floor Plan
-Classroom with a small closet at each side adjacent to the choir.
-Cloak room and toilet at each side adjacent to the entrance vestibule.
-Stairs lead down to lower floor.
-Perfectly symmetrical plan on vertical axis.

This is an example of a redrawn floor plan, based on original drawings, that I will be including in this book for as many of the significant buildings as I am able to find. As with all other images on this site, do not use this drawing without permission.

265 Gates Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Architect: Pope and Burton
Built 1918; Dedicated 1919; Sold 1963
Now Evening Star Baptist Church (aka Church of the Red Door)
Map Location of Building

Brooklyn Branch Chapel Exterior

Fantastic modern chapel designed for the Brooklyn Branch by architects Pope and Burton. Dedicated Feb 16, 1919 in three sessions by Apostle Reed Smoot.

Those on the program included:
Reed Smoot, Quorum of the Twelve
Harvey Fletcher, physicist credited with invention of the hearing aid
Rudger Clawson, President of the Twelve

265 Gates Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Architect: Pope and Burton
Built 1918; Dedicated 1919; Sold 1963
Now Evening Star Baptist Church (aka Church of the Red Door)
Map Location of Building

Manhattan Ward Chapel (purchased)

The first LDS Chapel owned in Manhattan was bought from the Central Christian Church, otherwise known as the Disciples of Christ in April 1945. The first services were held the following month in May. At this time, the ward had 330 permanent members. But out-of-town visitors usually made up about 80 percent of the congregation. It was thought to be the most transient ward in the Church. This new chapel had a seating capacity of 600. About 60 feet long and 40 feet high, the chapel had high arches, stained glass windows, a pipe organ, hardwood-paneled walls and clerestory windows. Considerable cleaning was done on the building totaling 500 hours of labor by the members. And improvements totaling $15,000 to all three floors were planned over the next two years. Originally built in 1892, I am unsure when the building stopped being used and sold. It now appears to be owned by the Mount Pleasant Christian Academy and Baptist Church. (Info from Church News, June 23, 1945, page 8)

142 West 81st Street
New York City, NY
Built 1892
Purchased 1945
Map Location of Building

Clearfield Ward Exterior


I don’t have much info on this building yet, but will be researching some of its history in the next week. My guess is it was built in the early 1900’s. It has probably been vacant and in disrepair for many years, especially as the homes and town moved away from Main street. I am surpised it is still standing at all, considering the industrialized neighborhood. A wonderful building, though.

Here is a 1935 painting of the building by LeConte Stewart
Utah State Historical Society photo of building

380 S Main St
Clearfield, UT
Built ??
Now vacant and in great disrepair, used for storage
Map Location of Building

Porterville Ward Detail

Built 1898
Sold 1942 and remodeled into a private residence
Destroyed by fire in 2000
Map Location of Building

Porterville Ward Exterior


Built 1898
Sold 1942 and remodeled into a private residence
Destroyed by fire in 2000

This meetinghouse is located on a beautiful site, elevated above the town and the river running adjacent. Built of a stone base and brick structure in 1898, the building cost around $5000 to construct. Containing a single large chapel space on the main floor, the room was able to be subdivided by curtains for Sunday School classes. The basement was an open hall for activities and dances. The original design contained a weather vane and a bell tower above the entry door on the west side.

The building is currently for sale.

1920 photo showing the main entry with original tower.
Here is an image of the building as a private residence prior to the fire.

Additional information:
The Old Porterville Ward
Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture & City Planning by C. Mark Hamilton, pg 88-89.
Wikipedia entry on Porterville, Utah

Centerville Young Men’s Hall Demolition


85 S 300 E
Centerville, UT
Built c. 1873

This building was originally a single-story, one-room stone building located across the street from the Centerville 1st Ward meetinghouse. A Centerville Young Men’s Club, which included B.H. Roberts as a member, built this small rock building in about 1873 at a cost of $700. Their desire was to have a place to discuss philosophy, astronomy and other such topics as well as to house a library for their books. To join the club, membership fees were collected, and weekly meetings were spent discussing books. Lack of attendance or preparation for the discussion meant a fine would be charged to help purchase new books. Eventually this club was changed into the newly organized Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, probably in 1877, the date listed on a plaque found in the attic of the building. B. H. Roberts was elected as the first president. Shortly after, the building was also used by the Young Women, and after 1880, by the Primary. Sold in 1917, the building was converted to a residence around 1920, at which time a hip roof, side rooms and a covered front porch were added. There is also a garage and agriculture building on site, both of which were built at this time. The home, which retains its historic integrity, contributes to the historic qualities of Centerville and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Today it remains as a rare surviving example of a rare building type. However, the current owner has just recently applied for a demolition permit for the building since it will be cheaper to raze than to attempt additional preservation efforts. The building is currently being rented and is in some level of disrepair as can be seen in the roof soffit.

For more information on the building:
National Register Nomination Form
National Register Photos

San Bernardino 1st Ward Chapel Interior


I was quite surprised by the interior of this building, especially the radial layout placed inside a rectangular exterior. What it provides is a nice space for support rooms behind the rostrum. All of the pews, pulpit, and even choir seats appear to be intact from the original design.

901 F Street
San Bernardino, CA
Built 1933; Sold 1975?
Architect: William Harber
Now Iglesia Cristiana Bautista
Map Location of Building

Hollywood Stake Tabernacle Detail

1209 S Manhattan Pl
Los Angeles, CA
Built 1928
Architect: Pope and Burton
Map Location of Building

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