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City Commission Considers Landmarking Historic Pasadena Church

Published on Monday, July 16, 2018 | 5:45 am

The City of Pasadena’s Historic Preservation Commission is meeting on Tuesday, July 17, to conduct site visits to three sites in the City, including the First Congregational Church of Pasadena building on the corner of Walnut Street and Los Robles Avenue, now being considered for designation as a landmark.

One of the other two sites is also being considered for landmark designation while one is awaiting approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Department of Planning and Community Development Director David Reyes, in a report for the Commission, said staff had evaluated the application for designating the First Congregational Church as a landmark and determined that the building qualifies.

The church, a three-story building constructed in 1927 to 1928, was designed by architects Leon Caryl Brockway and H.M. Patterson. The builders on record are William T. Loesch and Son. It is 81,931 square feet in size and sits on a property that’s 48,452 square feet large on the corner of Walnut Street and Los Robles Avenue.

The First Congregational Church of Pasadena under construction in 1927. Image courtesy Pasadena Public Library

The United Church of Christ in Pasadena said the church has provided spiritual support for their members and others in Pasadena for almost 100 years.

The UCC said they sold the property in February and are “currently renters in the building for the next year as we search for a new church home.” United Property Management Company is currently managing the property.

Got Used Oil

The Planning Department report said the church is a significant example of an ecclesiastical building in the Gothic Revival style. It has two underground

The third of three buildings erected for the First Congregational Church in Pasadena, the building has abundant space for social and recreational uses and is one of the largest churches in the City, reflecting both the economic and spiritual optimism of 1920s congregations in Southern California, and the centrality of religious institutions in the social and community life of Pasadena.

The Planning Department said the building is eligible for designation as a landmark since “it embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, architectural style, period, or method of construction, or represents the work of an architect, designed, engineer, or builder whose work is of significance to the City,” as stated in the criteria under the Pasadena Municipal Code.

The building has a high level of architectural integrity (its ability to demonstrate why it is significant) through its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship and feeling, the Planning Department said.

Following the site visit, the Historic Preservation Commission is expected to vote on the recommendation at its regular session which opens at 6 p.m. at the George Ellery Hale Building Hearing Room at 175 N. Garfield Avenue.

Once approved at the Commission level, the recommendation will go up to the City Council for final approval.

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