AKA: First Congregational Church #3, Riverside, CA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Hunt and Grey, Architects (firm); Elmer Grey (architect); Myron Hubbard Hunt (architect); Henry Lewis Adrien Jekel (architect/civil engineer)

Dates: constructed 1912-1914

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3504 Mission Inn Avenue
Downtown, Riverside, CA 92501

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The 1st Congregational Church congregation of Riverside was founded on 04/21/1872, and two previous churches predated this paradigmatic Spanish Colonial building, one completed in 1873 and the other in 1887. The notable Pasadena architectural firm of Hunt and Grey designed the 1st Congregational Church, completed in 1914.

Building History

Frank Miller, the proprietor of the Mission Inn in Riverside, was a member of the 1st Congregational Church group. He led a building campaign that resulted in the completion of this church in 1914. The Pasadena architectural firm of Hunt and Grey designed the edifice. A cornerstone-laying ceremony occurred on 12/01/1912, and the completed edifice was dedicated on 01/25/1914. (See 1st Congregational Church of Riverside.org, "Our History," accessed 07/25/2019.)

The Buffalo-born architect Henry L.A. Jekel consulted with Myron Hunt on the design of the church's tower during 1911-1912. The Riverside Daily Press wrote of his work in 1921: "Mr. and Mrs. Jekel, who were residents of the city during 1911-12, while Mr. Jekel calculated the construction work on the tower of the First Congregational church, have expressed their intention of residing here permanently." The articel continued, "Mr. Jeckel's work in connection with the First Congregational church tower will no doubt be remembered by many. Mr. Jekel took the general outline of a sketch of Myron Hunt and his procedure in making intricate mathematical calculations by which the tower was broken up into several thousand pieces, was regarded as an extraordinary achievement. (See "Henry Jekel To Make Home Here," Riverside Daily Press, 06/16/1921, p. 5.) Jekel would go on to develop a significant career in Riverside, designing approximately 60 buildings in the area.


The church's administraton voted to proceed with a $418,937 renovation of its towerin 2019. Two firms, Heritage Architecture and Planning of San Diego, CA, and Spectra Company of Pomona, CA, supervised this restoration effort.

PCAD id: 23019