Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Building Features

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 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


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