AKA: St. John the Episcopal Church #2, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA; St. John's Episcopal Church #2, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Davis and Davis, Architects (firm); Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor, Architect (firm); Francis Pierpont Davis (architect); Walter Swindell Davis (architect); Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (architect); Mott C. Montgomery (architect); Ross Gordon Montgomery (architect/structural engineer); Salvatore Cartaino Scarpitta (sculptor)

Dates: constructed 1923-1925

514 West Adams Boulevard
Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA 90007-2616

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Building History

The parish was sanctioned in 1891; it started the design process for this church in 1919, when it commissioned a design from the Los Angeles partnership of Montgomery and Montgomery; this design was not built, and an additional design was commissioned in 1920 from the prominent New York ecclesiastical architect, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, who had designed many of the buildings at the 1915 San Diego Panama California Exposition and who was preparing to work on Los Angeles's Main Library, built between 1922-1926; these plans may have been too expensive, and in mid-1921, six Los Angeles architects were invited to present proposals for the church; Of the five submitted, the one by Walter and Pierpont Davis was chosen, and building commenced in 01/1923; Davis and Davis designed the interior to seat 1,000 parishioners. The competition's jury consisted of architects Ernest Coxhead (1863-1933, who had designed several Episcopal churches in Northern and Southern CA), San Diegan William Templeton Johnson (1877-1957), and Reverend George A. Davidson of Los Angeles, CA.

According to architectural historians David Gebhard and Robert Winter, "The historic source for the design was northern Italian Romanesque. The interior ceiling was modeled after the Church of San Miniato [al Monte] in Florence." (See David Gebhard and Robert Winter, Los Angeles: An Architectural Guide, [Salt Lake City: Gibbs M. Smith Publisher, Incorporated, 1994], p. 267.) The Los Angeles Conservancy said of the cathedral: "The Davis brothers looked to Northern Italy for ecclesiastical precedents, as well as the 11th-century Basilica di San Pietro in Tuscania." (SeeLos Angeles Cathedral.org. “St. John’s Cathedral,” accessed 04/02/2018.)

Building Notes

Romanesque sculptural details on the front facade were done by artist Salvatore Cartaino Scarpitta (1887–1948). Tel: 213.747.6285 (2004).

PCAD id: 1714