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First Lutheran Church

First Lutheran Church

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Location: 215 N. Lemon Street
1942: Mission Revival

First Lutheran ChurchMission Revival architecture with elements of Romanesque detailing is used for this “U”-shaped complex of church buildings facing East Wilshire Avenue. Besides the prominent, three-tiered bell tower, the buildings’ distinctive features include arched relief work that surround entrances, decorative plastered friezes under the front gable, and small tower elements at the ridge line. John Wallis designed the many stained glass windows.

The complex was designed as a whole, but the church sanctuary was built first in 1942 – one of the few nonpublic buildings constructed in the early 1940s – by the membership at a cost of $11,500 for materials. The parish hall and the educational building at the rear of the property were constructed in 1955-57, and are true to the original design of the complex. The enclosed courtyard between the church sanctuary and the parish hall is an integral element, providing a counterpoint between building forms on a densely developed property.

The church’s development is a reflection of how the entire north Orange County region grew and prospered in the decades after World War II.