Tag Archives: Bethlehem Baptist Church

From South Los Angeles to West Hollywood: James Garrott, Rudolph Schindler and the Bethlehem Baptist Church

steve wallet architect Bethlehem Baptist Church  2015-5-18How did Schindler get hired to design the Bethlehem Baptist Church? The Afro-American Baptist congregation from South Los Angeles was not a part of his usual crowd of political activists, artists and bohemians. Schindler was not widely known and had never built a church. In 1944, in racially separated Los Angeles, it is puzzling.

In my recent research I have come across information that points to a link between Schindler and the Bethlehem Baptist congregation. In the Architecture and Design Collection at UCSB there are drawings of an earlier design for the church. They were prepared by another architect, James Garrott. Garrott’s drawings are dated May 22, 1944. Three months later, on August 31, 1944, Schindler and the church officials signed a contract for a new design. What happened in between? Continue reading From South Los Angeles to West Hollywood: James Garrott, Rudolph Schindler and the Bethlehem Baptist Church

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Schindler Church Open House, part 1

Bethlehem Baptist Church courtyard 2014-2-7steve wallet architect Bethlehem Baptist Church 2013-4-27 copyYour first chance to see Schindler’s  only church!

See my Schindler research at SCHINDLER INDEX

Also see Schindler Open House, part 2

When I first saw the Bethlehem Baptist Church last year I immediately fell in love with it, but I was saddened by its condition. Underneath the peeling paint, graffiti and years of neglect was a bold design. That set me off on a year of research into this amazing building.

steve wallet architect BBC Open House flyer 2014-3-14Schindler designed the Church in 1944 for a black congregation in an urban neighborhood in South LA. It was sold after the original congregation moved out of the neighborhood. It passed through a number of owners, none with the resources to maintain it. It has been abandoned and boarded up for years.

Recently I got some wonderful news. The Church has been repaired and a new congregation, Faith Build International, is moving in. They are having an Open House at the Church next month. This is the first time anyone has been able to see the marvelous, light-filled interior in many years.

Bethlehem Baptist Church Open House
Saturday, April 12, 2014
11AM to 1PM
4901 Compton Ave., Los Angeles  90001

Download the Open House pdf by clicking on the flyer photo.

This event is open to the public – so this is your chance to see this hidden gem. Take my word for it, the only way to really experience a Schindler building is to visit it – photographs can’t fully convey his buildings.

See you at the Open House!

PS I will be writing a series of articles on the design of the Church. This image is a peek at what’s to come – the church in its original colors. Stay tuned.
steve wallet architect Bethlehem Baptist Church 3-16-2014

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