Rudolph Schindler’s Only Church is Resurrected

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Architecture enthusiasts and members of the Faith-Build International community are rejoicing in the re-opening of the Bethlehem church on Compton Avenue, designed in the mid-1940s by Modernist pioneer Rudolph Schindler. But did Schindler, a progressive thinker, come to design this radical church in that location at that time?

SChindler Church entrance, photo by Robert Mace

This past weekend an Open House took place on Compton Avenue at 49th in South Los Angeles; the venue was a white-painted building that is not large but distinctive, with interlocking blank walls and wooden frame, a little reminiscent of works by Frank Lloyd Wright. Its interior is L-shaped and softly lit, by sunlight filtered through high windows with overhangs and clerestories. Look upwards and the wooden structure extends into a cross.