Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1944

4901 Compton Avenue

Los Angleles, CA 90011

Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1944

Rudolph Schindler, Architect

Drawing Courtesy the Architecture and Design Collection / Art, Design & Architecture Museum / University of California, Santa Barbara

Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #968. With Rudolph Schindler's complete control of "space, climate, light and mood," he creates a space well-suited for its purpose. Originally designed for a small African-American congregation, nearly everything about the church was unique (including the original color scheme which ranged from warm blue to eggplant, to purplish red). "With no attempt to imitate masonry," Schindler's design achieved a sense of massiveness through the distinctive exterior banding. The horizontal bands of stucco siding which appear to be wood, tie the building to the streetscape. Schindler placed the L-shaped church at the corner, with a bar of classrooms to either side of an existing house. A patio for all three pieces was created and unified with a loggia. A three-dimensional cross rising above the building's entrance and repeated in the skylight just below, speaks to the possibilities and hope for the future.

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