The First Congregational Church of Long Beach built the church building on the corner of 3rd and Cedar in 1914. This was the third building that the church community had occupied since it’s founding by Margaret and Jotham Bixby in 1888.
Henry Patterson, a notable architect from Butte, Montana, designed the church in the Romanesque revival style, which was popular within the Congregational denomination at the time. This architectural style emphasizes rounded arches, restrained ornamentation, and impressive brick structures.
The church has undergone many notable changes since it was first built. Renovations started as early as the mid-1920’s and continued as the church changed over the past century. The two most notable campaigns were in response to the 1933 Long Beach earthquake and the 1988 retrofit.
Thanks to the retrofit the church is structurally sound but there is a fair amount of aesthetic work to be done. The stained glass windows are in desperate need of restoration including new leading and caulking to hold them in place. The terracotta is cracked and in some places failing all together. The brickwork is chipped and the mortar is soft.
With the help of a few grants and community support we are able to begin restoration a short two years after the initial committee was launched. The church is a work in progress and will always need special care but our hope is that after some extraordinary repairs we can maintain our beautiful building so it lasts another hundred years.