McCarty Memorial Christian Church has been a beacon in Los Angeles for the past 84 years. Its Late Gothic Revival style, created by Thomas Barber & Paul Kingsbury, is explained by the architects themselves in this didactic on their design concept.


The Architects

When Dr. McCarty came to our office two and one-half years ago he brought with him a series of church sketches which he, himself, had drawn as a result of his many study trips through England and the European continent. So great was the faith of this man that he had spent many years of travel to see the glorious creations of the Medieval Church Builders. To translate his dreams of a fitting memorial to the Glory of God and the good of mankind into actuality was the task set before us.

The fundamental idea underlying any church structure must be that of worship and service. To this and, the sciom of verticality, the ever upward rising pillars of tower and auditorium are dedicated. The buttress denotes strength and endurance of belief. The play of light through the windows is like the ever changing life.

The building is designed in a modified English Gothic Style of Architecture. It is entirely of fireproof construction, the exterior walls, floors and structural supports being entirely of reinforced concrete, while the roof trusses are of structural steel encased in staff work.

On the first floor is to be found the large auditorium which is reached through a spacious narthex. The sanctuary which is about seventy feet high to the apex of the ceiling, seats approximately one thousand people, inclusive of a small balcony and the choir section. The plan of the auditorium is of Cathedral type, with a wide nave and two vaulted side aisles which are separated by arcades from the nave.

Against the rear wall is the Baptistry which is separated from the auditorium by a delicately wrought wood screen, draped with beautiful velvet portiers. Underneath the rising choir space are the robing rooms and other facilities. To the right side of the choir space is a small chapel which is ideally suited for small intimate weddings and also for funerals. Over the chapel and with grilled openings into the auditorium is a generous organ space, while on the right hand side there is to be found a ladies parlor with a small kitchen.

The entire basement is occupied by a large assembly room which is at present divided into Sunday School classrooms, but which can be readily converted into a banquet hall and recreation room. It has a stage large enough for the presentation of Biblical plays and lectures. In connection with it is a fully equipped modern kitchen plant, and directly in its rear is the mechanical equipment plan containing the heating and ventilating apparatus which serves the entire building.

Of note are the auditorium crystal lighting fixtures which Dr. McCarty had especially designed in Czechoslovakia, and which, according to expert opinion, represents the finest lighting equipment of any church in the city. The auditorium windows with their delicate tracery show stained glass depicting Biblical scenes.

Over the altar is a circular glass panel which shows Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, while the imposing front window portrays Jesus blessing the multitude. The entire building, the glass and the lighting fixtures, were donated by Dr. and Mrs. Isaac McCarty, while the pews and pulpit furniture were furnished by the congregation.

Barber and Kingsbury,


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