Straddling the northeast corner of Foothill and Myrtle, the First Presbyterian Church in Monrovia, California projects an image of strength and durability. If I squint my eyes just right, I see archers on the top of the tower aiming their arrows at me. Then in a flash during this Tecnicolor dream, my crimson blood pools on the pavement in the foreground.
This is Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Rancho Cucamonga, California. This image does not do the dome the justice it deserves, it is quite distinctive and shiny, effectively separating the church effectively from the commercial structures across the street. It is likely impossible that drivers on the adjacent north bound lanes of I-15 will fail to notice this structure. Since many of those drivers are heading up I-15 to Las Vegas they might consider stopping here to offer some prayers for success in the casinos, couldn’t hurt, could it?
Glendora United Methodist Church, Glendora, California. What caught me eye when I came upon this scene was the placement of the church entrance right on the apex of the corner, I found it quite welcoming, and I also like the proportions of the entire building, how it seems to fit perfectly on the lot and is framed by the mature trees.
A typical winter day in Southern, California. Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints, on old Route 66 in Glendora, CA; the San Gabriel mountains in the background.
Returning to where this blog left at the beginning of last week, we are back in the city of Glendora, California where we captured another monumental structure, the First Christian Church. As the title of this post implies, on the surface the church building is a monument to the Christian Deity, however, I submit that it is really a monument to the people who founded this church. Those who organized and brought the first congregants together, who raised the funding and navigated through the process of building and furnishing the structure. Given that Christian religions see God as a manifestation of Man, I have to draw the conclusion that while church building’s may serve to celebrate, revere and worship their related Deities, the buildings themselves really serve as a monument to those persons who have successfully promoted the philosophical values embraced by their peer leaders. The people founded, nurtured and sustained the church, not some mystic Deity.
I am intrigued by the dark tones of the windows and other structural elements against the stark whiteness of the concrete structure, it really leaves me with a feeling of severity. Kind of like the severity of a religious zealot obsessed with punishing those who might transgress the moral standards of the zealot.
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Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church had its cornerstone laid on September 21, 1897 at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and North Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, California, which was surrounded by orange groves at the time; a U.S. Postal facility now stands where the church originally stood. In 1981 the church was cut up in to six pieces and moved to Heritage Square in Los Angeles.
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The quote in the title is not from the Bible, as far as I know, I just made it up as it seemed to fit the image. The is the First Church of Christ Scientist in Pasadena, California. My intent in capturing the building from this location on the south side with the sun illuminating the dome and from this angle was to convey how monumental this building feels to me. The odd thing is that while this is a landmark building, it has been real easy to miss. It is situated on the corner of Green Street and South Oakland Avenue, a block south of the somewhat larger thoroughfare, Colorado Boulevard. Green Street is also lined on both sides with mature tress, so while we have frequently passed by here as we have traversed Green Street, this gem of a building had gone largely unnoticed to me, until we got out of the car and were walking the street.
It was almost 4:00 P.M. on a November day when I captured this image and the light from the sun was turning golden, still lighting up the dome while the lower structure was in shadow. The golden tones on the dome together with the orange tones on the row of trees in the right foreground are probably indicative of the only hints we get of a fall season in Southern California.
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I like the theatrical feeling of this house of worship, given that it was once a cinema that is an easy enough leap to make. I brightened the cross substantially, and part of the marque. The sun was directly behind the building, so that halo was unavoidable, but I think, given the scene, it fits perfectly.
Located on the back side of the First Congregational Church in Riverside, California is its parsonage. After capturing this image I almost had the urge to donate some paint to the church, but I don’t think I could afford the amount of paint that would be necessary to spruce up the parsonage, and then it would no longer make such an interesting subject. I applied some painterly effects to this image using Alien Skin Snap Art.
Just beyond the cornerstone is this colonnade that leads to the chapel doors of the First Congregational Church in Riverside, California. It can get quite warm in Riverside and this passageway gives me a sense of the coolness that can be found in its shelter, and within the stone church building. I purposely darkened the walls an columns and emphasized the warmth of the two sets of doors, and then also added blur to defocus on the sunny landscape just outside of the scene. I really like the overhead beams and the doors in this scene combined with the perspective and selective focus.
The cornerstone at the First Congregational Church in Riverside, California was laid on December 1, 1912 and has remained in place with the completed building for 99 years. While I did take some liberties in terms of emphasizing the grunge when rendering this image, the building in real life does look almost as worn as it does here. I don’t know if that is a factor of the material used to construct the building or not, but I would expect this kind of “wear” to be present on a building that is five centuries old, but not just under a century as in this case.
This building and the adjacent parsonage (which I will share later in the week) has a lot of character which is what attracted me to it and I find cornerstones very interesting. This cornerstone certainly seems to express the beliefs of those who laid it and utilized the finished structure. It does seem very appropriate if you subscribe to the beliefs, in this context.
The First Congregational Church is located at the corner of Mission Inn Avenue and Lemon Street in Riverside, California. The church building takes its design cues, which include the arching colonnade from the Mission Inn which is across the street. From the church’s web site:
The present church building is one of the most significant Spanish Revival structures existing in Southern California. It was designed by Myron Hunt, a leading California architect who also designed the Spanish Wing of the Mission Inn and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The building is a brick structure with a concrete tower. Henry Jekel was the architectural engineer for the Spanish Baroque Churrigueresque tower. The cornerstone was laid December 1, 1912, and the building was dedicated on January 25, 1914. The original cost of the building was $100,000…
For many years the church’s 135′ bell tower was empty. in 1986, Don and Beth Miller began the Carillon Project in memory of their son, Scott. A Carillon was chosen, consisting of 24 bells, each of which rings a different pitch on the chromatic scale. The bells, which are the only pealing bells loacted in Southern California, were manufactured in France. In August 1989 installation began, and on October 1, 1989, the bells were dedicated as a memorialto loved ones and a gift of the church to the community.
The sound of the bells was quite appealing and imparted a sense of well being while we were in the neighborhood.
Processing for this image was fairly straightforward, I did amp up the saturation in the flower blossoms.