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Fifteen historic places of worship throughout Santa Monica will be featured at our annual architectural tour. Sacred Places will explore the architectural beauty, history and culture of churches, chapels and a synagogue. Selected for their historical significance, and cultural diversity, these sites are also located in different parts of our City.
Established in 1875, just months after the City’s founding, First United Methodist and First Presbyterian both began as small wooden chapels downtown and later evolved into major modern architectural landmarks. Also downtown, Saint Augustine’s rose from the ashes of a disastrous fire in 1966 that destroyed the original 1887 wooden church. Nearby, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox offers a glimpse into ancient Eastern Orthodox traditions.
Our City’s oldest African-American church, Phillips Chapel was founded in 1906. The church adaptively reused a former school building, later remodeled in the 1940s to include commemorative stained glass windows. It was designated as a Santa Monica landmark in 2005 to honor its centennial. The large scale of Calvary Baptist Church, also serving African-Americans, reflects its former mid-City population base prior to construction of the freeway.
Two churches with predominantly Latino congregations will be featured: Saint Anne, founded in 1908, which has an outdoor shrine; and Iglesia el Sermon del Monte, which meets in a building originally built as a Baptist church in 1919 with magnificent stained glass windows.
This self-driving or biking tour offers several designated check-in locations (marked with an asterisk below). Visitors will be provided a map and detailed brochure to select sites to see, as time may not permit visiting all 15 locations. Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for the public. Tickets may be purchased online or by sending a check to P.O. Box 653, Santa Monica, CA 90406. Please indicate the number of tickets you desire and whether you are a Conservancy member, and include your address, email and telephone number.
List of Tour Sites:
- First Presbyterian, 1220 2nd St. *
- Iglesia el Sermon del Monte, 2nd and Hill Sts.
- Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St.
- Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox, 1245 4th St.
- Saint Augustine By-the-Sea, 1227 4th St.
- Saint Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave.
- Saint Paul’s Lutheran, 958 Lincoln Blvd.
- First United Methodist, 1008 11th St.
- Unitarian Universalist Community, 1260 18th St.
- Pilgrim Lutheran, 1730 Wilshire Blvd.
- Beth Shir Shalom, 1827 California Ave.
- Phillips Chapel, 2001 4th St. (open only from 3-5 pm)
- Mt. Olive Lutheran, 1343 Ocean Park Blvd. *
- Saint Anne Church & Shrine, 2011 Colorado Ave. *
- Calvary Baptist, 1502 20th St.
Check-in locations are designated with *.