Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Patterson, Henry M., Architect (firm); Henry M. Patterson (architect)

Dates: constructed 1923-1925

1760 North Gower Street
Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 90028-5422

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This congregation began in 1903, and it worshiped in rented facilities for 5 years, until a parcel of land was bought at the corner of Gower Street and Carlos Street for $3,300 in 1908. A low-slung church with a shallowly-pitched gable roof and an underground auditorium was first erected. While the elders of the church had a more complex and grandiose plan in hand in 1908, they chose to be nearly debt-free and constructed this minimal church, known to locals as the “the Presbyterian Storm Cellar.” (The first church's construction loan was paid off by 1915.) A new pastor was installed in 1921, Stewart P. MacLennan, and he set about securing financing for a new, larger church to serve the growing population. In 1923, this larger church, done in a proper rendition of the Gothic Revival Style, had its cornerstone laid. Estimates for cost came to $400,000, but through 365 donations, the congregation raised $230,000 initially to fund construction. This huge new auditorium could accommodate approximately 1,800 parishioners. (See "A 100-Year History of Hollywood’s Church,"Accessed 10/13/2009)

According to David Gebhard and Robert Winter, in their Architecture in Los Angeles, A Compleat Guide, (Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs M. Smith, Incorporated, 1985), p. 160, "Whatever its present resemblance to Sodom and Gomorrah, Hollywood is conspicuously a city of churches, the First Presbyterian being the largest of that denomination in the world." Tel: 323.463.7161 (2009);

PCAD id: 14549