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Address 3504 MISSION INN AV Year Built 1912-14
APN 213272002
Name First Congregational Church of Riverside Builder First Congregational Church
Architect Hunt, Myron and Elmer, Grey Style Spanish Colonial Revival
Original Use Church Contemporary Use
Survey Results  1996 1996  2003  2011     
Description Significance Theme Period
Area Attributes CHR Status NR Criteria
Permits Citation References Addresses
Survey Description
This structure is a two-story and basement Spanish Colonial Revival style religious building, with a 125-foot Churrigueresque style corner tower. The Latin cross plan church building has a reinforced concrete foundation, supporting a brick double-wall perimeter wall. The tower is constructed of reinforced concrete. The building is located on the southwest corner of Mission Inn Avenue and Lemon Street and is oriented on an east/west axis. The entrance facade faces north along Mission Inn Avenue, and is set back approximately twenty-five feet from the property line. The building's secondary exposure, along Lemon Street, is limited to a setback of approximately ten feet. Directly south of the east end of the church, and fronting onto Lemon Street, is the parsonage. This two-story Mission Revival style building was constructed in 1905, and was originally located along Seventh Street. The footprint of the church building follows the traditional Latin cross plan, with its north and south transepts projecting from the western portion of the building. The main entrance is at the west end of the arcade that runs along its Mission Inn Avenue (north) façade. A second entrance is located at the northeast corner of the building, within the north façade of the tower. The third entrance is located at the west end of a ramp that extends most of the length of the south (rear) façade. The overall form of the two story-and-basement church is composed as a series of simplified masses that project from the east/west axis of the building. The cubic-like character of these masses results from minimizing the surface ornament and eliminating any extension of the low-pitched gable, shed and pyramidal hip roofs, which are covered with Spanish terra cotta tiles. In a manner consistent with the precedent of the eighteenth-century Spanish and Mexican examples of the Churrigueresque style, Myron Hunt concentrated the cast stone surface ornament on three primary areas of the building - the three tiers and dome of the tower, the entrance arcade on the Mission Inn Avenue façade, and the first and second story window surrounds on the north wall of the northern transept. The ornament of the tower and window surround incorporates the estipites (vertical stacking of motifs on an inverted pilaster) that are hallmark of the style. Similarly, the pilasters framing the entrance arcade consist of a series of elements arranged vertically between a console and capital. Engaged Composite order columns support the arched openings. Additional motifs fill the interstices between the pilasters and engaged columns. The western façade of the church is treated as a two-story classical temple façade, with two-story pilasters framing a simply articulated first floor and the tall second story arcade. Small medallions are located immediately below the roofs on the three exposed walls of each corner. A small arched opening is framed by a similar tower-like element and the three-tier Churrigueresque tower; a modified quatrefoil window, enclosed by horizontal grillwork, is centrally located within the second story façade. An exterior, octagonal pulpit projects from the gabled south transept of the south façade. The pulpit is ornamented with pairs of pilasters that frame a niche and blind arched openings. Alterations consist of the removal of a chimney, which rose above the intersection of the south façade and south transept. The chimney was damaged as a result of the 1992 Landers earthquake, and was removed for safety reasons. From 1947 to 1955 eight stained glass windows were introduced into the sanctuary, all designed by Judson Studios of Los Angeles. In 1956 the sanctuary was extensively remodeled. Bells were added to the church tower (for the first time) in 1989.
2011 Photo # 12