Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Architects

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


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


San Diego 3rd and 8th Ward Exterior


It was difficult to get a shot of this building with all the trees at the sidewalk and with a tall security fence surrounding the building. This photo is of the chapel, taken from the sidewalk in front of the building. The Cultural Hall is unconnected and to the right of this photo. Access between the two is through an internal courtyard.

5299 Trojan Ave
San Diego, CA
Built 1962
Architect: Deems and Martin Associates
Map Location of Building


Cedar City 1st Ward Rededication

(Photo from Cedar City Pictures Website)

I was excited to find out today that the Cedar City 1st Ward building, or historic Rock Church, will be Rededicated this Sunday after closing last year for renovations. The dedication will be at 6pm and the building will be open for tours both before and after from 5pm-8pm. I have not been to visit the building yet, but from what I understand, the Cultural Hall has been restored to its original design, including removal of carpet for the original hardwood floors and removal of the wall panels that covered the windows. The radiators were left for historical reasons, even though the building now has central heating and cooling. The original pews have been restored and the font and mural still remain even though it is no longer functional. This building was built when the original Tabernacle on Center and Main was sold to the Government to be demolished for a new Post Office, but the still-working clock from the Tabernacle can be seen in the steeple.

75 E Center
Cedar City, UT
Built 1931
Architect: Anderson and Young
Map Location of Building


San Diego 3rd and 8th Ward Chapel Interior


I was blown away by just about every detail of this meetinghouse. Definitely one of my favorite mid-century buildings.

5299 Trojan Ave
San Diego, CA
Built 1962
Architect: Deems and Martin Associates
Map Location of Building


Matthews Ward Entry


Originally organized as the Florence Ward in 1923, the ward name was changed to Matthews in 1924 after a $15,000 donation towards a building by ward member George Leon Matthews. A convert from the RLDS Church, George was 86 years old in 1926. The ward members suggested and voted for the ward name to be changed in his honor. Because of the donation, construction began immediately. Dedicated the following year, the entire building would cost about $22,000. In 1926, George and his wife also donated an Estey organ to the building.

On Feb 2, 1941 ground breaking took place for a new chapel to be built to the west of the original chapel. The new building was dedicated on Feb 7, 1943 by Charles A Callis of the Twelve. By 1962, the Ward was made the official Indian Branch Headquarters for the area and by Feb 1963, the Matthews Ward would be discontinued and combined with another ward.

The building has since been sold and is now being used by the New Morning Star Baptist Church. The letters ‘LDS’ still remain in the entry lobby off of the busy street which functions as the main entry into the building. Beyond the doors is the Cultural Hall.

210 W Florence
Los Angeles, CA
Built 1941-43
Architect: Harold W. Burton
Now Greater New Morning Star Baptist Church
Map Location of Building


Beverly Hills Ward Exterior


Also known as the Westwood Ward Chapel. This building has a similar, but not as grand entry as the Las Vegas 9th Ward Chapel, also designed by Harold Burton.

10740 Ohio Ave
Los Angeles, CA
Built 1950
Architect: Harold W Burton
Map Location of Building


Beverly Hills Ward Chapel Interior


I believe this building is now called the Westwood Ward, but originally was the Beverly Hills Ward. Built several years prior to the Los Angeles Temple, this Chapel is located several blocks behind it. I love how the Sacrament table is not only centered in the room, but also brought forward as the closest element to the pews. The pulpit is pushed to the side as is the clerk table. This arrangement shows the importance of the sacrament over that of the spoken word.

10740 Ohio Ave
Los Angeles, CA
Built 1950
Architect: Harold W Burton
Map Location of Building


Paradise Ward in the news

The local Utah media is finally reporting on this building. Several of my photos from this site were on a KUTV News story covering the building this evening.

Here is the short news clip.

And here are some other news stories that were posted today as well:
HJ News – Once upon a chapel: 133-year-old LDS church in Paradise to be razed
Deseret News – One of Utah’s oldest Mormon chapels to be demolished
Salt Lake Tribune – One of Utah’s oldest Mormon chapels to be razed

9060 S 200 W
Paradise, UT
Original Chapel built 1877
Classrooms added 1902
New chapel addition 1952 by architect Lawrence D Olpin
Cultural Hall addition 1979
Scheduled to be torn down April 2012
Map Location of Building


Paradise Ward Farewell

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Yesterday I was fortunate to visit this building for the first time. It also happened to be the last day that worship services would be held. Even though it was Easter Sunday, members of the ward lingered long after services to reminisce, take pictures and just to sit and enjoy the Chapel for the last time while the bell in the tower rang outside for the small community of Paradise to hear.

As you can see, part of the building has already been removed exposing the original stone of the 1877 chapel. There was a nice display in the lobby with old photos of the chapel, some of the original stone as well as drawings of the new building to replace this one. Apparently they will save the bell to put into the new steeple. This bell was part of the original 1877 chapel. Also, some of the original stone will be used on the front elevation as a decorative feature.

Some of my favorite features of the building were the exposed stone, the railing in the lobby, the cry room in the balcony behind glass, the pulpit, the hand-painted flowers throughout the chapel, the abundance of natural light in the chapel, and the pews up in the cry room. I may be completely wrong, but if I were to guess, I would say those pews in the balcony are from the original building. The pews down in the chapel appeared to be from the 1952 addition. Rumor has it that some of the interior painting in the chapel was done by the same artist who painted scenes in the Salt Lake Temple Celestial room.

There was an attempt to save the building and have it be used as a community center that made it all the way to the First Presidency, but that request was denied. As a result the building that has stood here as a centerpiece for the town since 1877 will very soon be demolished.

9060 S 200 W
Paradise, UT
Original Chapel built 1877
Classrooms added 1902
New chapel addition 1952 by architect Lawrence D Olpin
Cultural Hall addition 1979
Scheduled to be torn down April 2012
Map Location of Building


San Bernardino 1st Ward Exterior

The city and valley of San Bernardino were founded by Mormon pioneers sent by Brigham Young. However, it would be many years before Church members would build their own Chapel. Ground was broken in 1930 when the congregation was still a Branch. LDS member William Harber was selected as both the architect and builder on the project. The building was completed and dedicated some time in 1933. I was unable to find an exact date. By 1935 the Branch had grown large enough to become a Ward. From this point until 1942, money was raised to add a Recreation Hall and additional classrooms in a separate building. Part of this newer building can be seen in the left side of the photo. Construction began in May of that year and was dedicated on October 9, 1943 by Marvin O. Ashton of the Presiding Bishopric. I have not as yet been able to find out when the building was sold, but it may have been in January 1975 when a new Stake Center in the city was dedicated. The building now functions as a Christian Baptist Church.

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


Hollywood Stake Tabernacle Chapel Detail

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


Hollywood Stake Tabernacle Cultural Hall

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


Hollywood Stake Tabernacle Stained Glass

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


Hollywood Stake Tabernacle Chapel Interior

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


Salt Lake Assembly Hall Window

50 W North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT
Built 1877-80
Architect: Obed Taylor
Map Location of Building


Salt Lake Assembly Hall Exterior


Construction began on this Victorian Gothic Tabernacle on August 11, 1877. The architect was Obed Taylor, one of six architects in the city in 1879. By April 7, 1880 the building was opened to the public and a description was given of the work still needing to be done. It was stated that the building was nearing completion. Sometime later that year the building was completed because on August 7, 1880 a Priesthood meeting was held there. Almost a year after this, the architect unexpectedly died on August 2, 1881. The funeral services in the Deseret News stated of him, “The Salt Lake Assembly Hall is a sample of his skill in that line, and although Obed has been summoned from our midst, that structure alone will always keep his name in the fond remembrance of this people.” (Deseret News 2 Aug 1881) The building would officially be dedicated by President Joseph F Smith on January 8, 1882 at a 2pm session of Stake Conference. (ibid. 18 Jan 1882)

With seating capacity for nearly 2000 people, the building was constructed with left-over granite from the Salt Lake Temple. A feature included a four-foot weather vane of a flying angel at the top of the tower. Additionally, the truncated spires used to function as chimneys. In 1882 the Provo Tabernacle by William Folsom would be patterned after this design at the request of local Church leaders. Folsom and Taylor had previously worked together on the ZCMI cast-iron facade, which incidentally is making another debut tomorrow as part of the new City Creek Center opening. As a result, the plans of these two Tabernacles were similar with the original interiors nearly identical. (Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture & City Planning, page 72-73.)

50 W North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT
Built 1877-80
Architect: Obed Taylor
Map Location of Building


Heber 2nd Ward Chapel Interior

5 S 100 W
Heber, UT
Built 1915
Architect: Joseph Nelson
Sold 1960’s; Now St Lawrence Catholic Church
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building


Randolph Ward Gable

15 S. Main
Randolph, UT
Built 1898-1914
Architect: John C. Gray
National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building


Randolph Ward Exterior

15 S. Main
Randolph, UT
Built 1898-1914
Architect: John C. Gray
National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building


Randolph Ward Chapel Interior

Even though many people classify this building as a Tabernacle, I have not, because from what I have read, it has always only been a meetinghouse for the local ward. The interior of this building features one of my favorite set of pipes for an organ that I have seen. Very minimal and unusual in that they point downwards.

Built between 1898 and 1914, the first meeting was held in the main Chapel in November 1904 when the building was not finished, but usable. Another ten years would pass before the building was completed. Apostle George A. Smith stopped the work until all debts were paid which greatly slowed down the work. Smith would later dedicate the building on July 26, 1914.

The plaque on the building says it was remodeled in 1938. At this time an amusement hall was added behind the building while a baptismal font and furnace were installed in the basement of the original building. Total time for this remodel spanned from 1936-38. The amusement hall was demolished in a 1984-85 remodel and a large rear addition was built with a new cultural hall, classrooms and offices. The addition attached to the original Chapel at the rear and on one side providing a new entrance lobby and hallway to access the entry to the Chapel. The Chapel was also refurbished at this time.

15 S. Main
Randolph, UT
Built 1898-1914
Architect: John C. Gray
National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building


Bountiful Tabernacle Chapel Interior

A very interesting interior image of this chapel was taken in 1975. This chapel contained quite an extensive shrine to Joseph Smith as the focal point of the chapel until 1976 when the entire rostrum was remodeled by Carpenter and Stringham architects to the layout seen today. Other items of interest from the pre-1976 chapel is the sacrament table located to the side amongst the pews and at a 90 degree angle to the front. And at the left side can be seen large accordion doors that opened to a Recreation Hall which was added in 1925 by architect George Cannon Young. It is unfortunate that more of the original rostrum could not have remained. Almost every thing about the original is more interesting and beautiful than than what is there now.

55 S. Main
Bountiful, UT
Built 1857-63
Architect: Augustus Farnham
National Register of Historic Places
Map Location of Building


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