Alvarado Terrace Historic District - First Church of Christ, Scientist and The Peoples Temple

First Church of Christ, Scientist and The Peoples Temple

The district also includes the former First Church of Christ, Scientist built in 1912 on an odd-shaped lot at the coner of Alvarado and Hoover Streets. The church was designed by noted architect Elmer Grey, who was also responsible for the Beverly Hills Hotel (1911), the Huntington Gallery and Library (1910), and the Pasadena Playhouse (1924-25). The church has been variously described as Beaux-Arts, Italian and Spanish Romanesque, and Mediterranean. The building's most notable features include its semi-circular porch with fluted columns, brick tower, rounded arches, and tiled roof.

The building has had a colorful history, having housed Jim Jones' Peoples Temple from 1970 until their move to Jonestown, Guyana in 1977. In 1975, the Los Angeles Times noted the Peoples Temple's move into the old church: "People's Temple, a Disciples of Christ church, now occupies the old First Church building." After the mass suicide in Jonestown, the Times noted that the Peoples Temple had moved out of the "huge Italian Renaissance-style church" in 1977.

The church was designated as Historic-Cultural Monument no. 89 in 1971. In 2008, the church was operated as the "Iglesia Adventista Central," as shown in the picture to the left. An interesting profile and several photographs of the church can be found on the Big Orange Landmarks web site.

Read more about this topic:  Alvarado Terrace Historic District

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