Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Meetinghouses

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


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


Chevy Chase Ward Chapel Interior

5460 Western Ave
Chevy Chase, MD
Map Location of Building


Chevy Chase Ward Meetinghouse Exterior


Located at the western edge of Washington DC, across the street into Maryland, this building is the current meeting place of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. From what I understand, he attends this ward more often than his ward in Nevada. If Mitt Romney becomes President of the United States in November and moves into the White House, this building is where he would most likely attend church. I am unsure of when the building was built yet, but my guess is sometime in the 50’s.

5460 Western Ave
Chevy Chase, MD
Map Location of Building


Long Beach Meetinghouse


I am unsure of any info on this building yet. But I absolutely love the front. I was in San Antonio last week and will be in Washington DC this next week, so there won’t be any posts for probably another week.

6979 Orange Ave
Long Beach, CA
Map Location of Building


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