Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Sunset Ward Exterior

1601 22nd Ave
San Francisco, CA
Built 1945
Click for Map Location of Building


4 responses

  1. Steve_G

    This has got to be my favorite chapel so far. That Cultural Hall is too beautiful to play basketball in. I love those windows.

    April 14, 2011 at 8:19 am

    • This is one of my favorite chapels as well (as you can probably tell by all the photos I posted on it.) I think it is a good solution for an urban chapel as it holds the street edges quite well. And also shows that a building doesn’t have to be ornate to be beautiful. Simple and clean lines are good. Clearly the windows were put in before the basketball standards. A lot of the older cultural halls are really nice and were never meant to play basketball in. One of the reasons they don’t want windows in the cultural halls today is so they don’t get broken by the balls.

      April 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

      • k kern

        My grandfather, Serge J. Lauper, was the bishop of the Sunset Ward when the building was built. The cultural hall was a “cultural hall” when the building was first in use. Many outstanding programs were presented on the stage in that room. He resisted the inclusion of basketball standards for many, many years–strongly. You might be interested in this quote from his personal history–it takes place after the morning session of Stake Conference.

        “We had finished our morning meeting. I was the first counselor then and the president of the stake was J. Bryan Barton. Barton’s son Willard was a very active and sometimes abrasive young man who had been urging that we have basketball standards erected in our recreation room. I had never accepted that program because I was anxious that we keep the building in very good condition. I did not believe in the idea that we should field a basketball group. My girls were not athletic, and I never was myself. So I was not interested in basketball and held back. All the years that I had authority, we never installed basketball standards.
        Between conference meetings on this occasion, I looked down to the recreation room which extended from the chapel itself, and I saw Willard Barton, LeGrand Richards–our conference visitor and an uncle of Willard because his mother was a Richards–and one of my counselors who, I discovered, had been sympathizing with the basketball faction. I was called down to the recreation room, and so I walked down to see these three men. All the way down I knew that these other two men had been talking to Brother Richards about basketball, and I was getting more angry all the time. As soon as I got into talking range, Bishop Richards said, in his cute little way of putting his head on one side, “I’m told that there’s a man in this stake that thinks more of a building than he does of a boy.” I answered that he was talking about something about which I had fixed ideas. I told him we had discussed the plans for the building with his building committee and that we had not included a gymnasium or locker rooms and that I was not in favor. Basketball could easily be played at a school in the neighborhood. As long as I had anything to say about it, there would be no basketball in our recreation room. I was furious about them ganging up on me, and before I had finished my talk, both Willard Barton, and especially my counselor, slid away. Only Brother Richards and I were there at the finish. He looked me in the eye and started shaking his head, and then he too, walked away.
        The subject was brought up by local people a few times, but no General Authorities said anything about it.

        October 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      • Wonderful – thank you for this.

        November 14, 2011 at 6:23 am

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