AKA: First English Lutheran Church, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Coxhead, Ernest, Architect (firm); Ernest Albert Coxhead (architect)

Dates: constructed 1888

view all images ( of 1 shown)

South Flower Street and West 8th Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90017

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
The 1st English Lutheran Church was located on the southeast corner of South Flower and 8th Streets in 1892.


The 1st English Lutheran Church was in operation in 1892, according to the Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1892, p. 63. Its pastor was was Reverend M.H. Stone, who had a house at 622 West 8th Street.

Building History

The founding pastor of this congregation was Reverend C.W. Heisler, An 1888 article in the Los Angeles Herald discussed the foundation of the church and noted the architect's name, Ernest A. Coxhead (1863-1933), a highly talented designer born in England. It stated: "Rev. C.W. Heisler, who has been pastor of the organization since it was first founded in the city, gave a brief history of the church prior to performing the formal ceremony of laying the corner stone. This church was organized fifteen months ago with thirty members and the number had increased to eighty in this short time. The first services were held in the First Presbyterian Church. From there the worshippers went to the Masonic Hall, then to the Armory Hall, and finally to the present quarters, G.A.R. Hall. The corner-stone was then placed in position and the ceremony performed and the erection of the English Lutheran Church was formally begun. The church, when finished, will be a very handsome building, and will add greatly to the architectural beauty of the city. The designs and plans were drawn by Mr. E.A. Coxhead, and that fact is an assurance that the building will be well constructed." (See "Sunday Services: A Corner Stone Laid for the First English Lutheran Church," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 30, no. 7, 04/09/1888, p. 5.) Reverends W.J. Chichester of the 1st Presbyterian Church, W.H. Pendleton of the 1st Baptist Church, and E.S. Williams of the 3rd Congregational Church participated with Heisler in the corner stone laying ceremony, held at 2:15 on Sunday, 04/08/1888.

Building Notes

The Los Angeles Herald article of 04/09/1888 described what the church would look like: "The church and school chapel will cover an area of 106x53 feet. The school chapel is ready now for roofing, so that an idea can be obtained of what it will be when finished. It will seat 120, and by means of sliding doors it can be added to the main body of the church. The auditorium will be 56x63 feet and will seat 350. There will be a common entrance to both chapel and church on Eighth street, but the main entrance is on Flower street. It is under a stone arch which supports the dome which will rise seventy feet in the air in perfect proportion to the gables. The entire lower portion of the church will be of sandstone and the upper portion of shingles. Over the entrance the pastor's study is located, and is connected with a flight of steps with the pulpit, which is in a half dome, at the back of which are several windows. On the other side of the pulpit the organ will be located. Inside the work will be very neat and in harmony with the object of the building. It will have the best example of a hammer-beam trussed roof supported by columns in the city. The floor will be sloping and the furniture will consist of especially designed benches. Altogether it will be a very commodious and comfortable house of worship." (See "Sunday Services: A Corner Stone Laid for the First English Lutheran Church," Los Angeles Herald, vol. 30, no. 7, 04/09/1888, p. 5.)

PCAD id: 21409