AKA: First Church of Christ, Scientist, Pasadena, CA

Structure Type: built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Burnham, Franklin P., Architect (firm); Franklin Pierce Burnham (architect)

Dates: constructed 1907-1909

South Oakland Avenue and East Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101

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Christian Science teachers appeared in Southern California as early as 1892. A congregation chartered Pasadena's 1st Church of Christ Scientist in 03/1898. Some were vehemently opposed to its establishment, objecting specifically to its preference for spiritual healing over medical procedures. Francis S. Larkin, stated in a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times (03/17/1898): "I notice by this morning's paper the incorporation of a so-called 'new church,' the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Pasadena. If this is possible according to the laws of California, is it not time that some law should be passed making it impossible. The United States grants freedom of conscience in matter of religion, but only so long as people refrain from lawless and harmful conduct. I append a clipping from the Christian Advocate, N.Y., January 6, 1898, showing that in Pennsylvania, the treatment of disease is regarded as harmful conduct...." (See Francis S. Larkin, "Letters to the Times: Here is Trouble," Los Angeles Times, 03/17/1898.)

This Neo-classical temple possessed a central dome, echoing, on a smaller scale, the design of the mother church in Boston; built just after the calamitous 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco, Burnham utilized a seismically-sturdy reinforced concrete structural system;

PCAD id: 5622