“President Hinckley Rededicates Historic Los Angeles Building,” Ensign, Sept. 2003, 78
President Gordon B. Hinckley delighted members of the Los Angeles California Stake when he visited their stake to rededicate the newly renovated stake center on 8 June 2003.
“Ground was broken for this building when I was 17 years of age,” President Hinckley said. “It was a tremendous case of consecration, a tremendous effort. When President [Heber J.] Grant came down to see it, he could hardly believe what he saw.”
President Grant dedicated the chapel in 1929. At the time it was the most expensive building the Church had undertaken, aside from its temples—costing nearly 10 times that of a regular chapel.
President Hinckley noted that the building was originally paid for in large part by the local members and was intended to make an impression on the growing city.
“It was built well because of a desire of those who constructed it to be something appropriate to the area,” he said. “How grateful we are that it has been preserved all these years.”
The chapel, listed as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, is as unique among Los Angeles churches today as it was when it was built more than 70 years ago. Its unusual style—a mix of art deco with distinctive Spanish themes—was purposely designed by Church architect Harold Burton to have no specific architectural design so as to avoid dating the building. Burton also designed temples in Cardston, Alberta; Laie, Hawaii; and Oakland, California.
Los Angeles stake president Michael J. Fairclough said he hoped that at this time of rededication members would rededicate themselves to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“This building represents the basic message of the Church: that we are all children of a loving God,” President Fairclough said. “By its design and its size, this building calls upon members and others to aspire to high and noble purposes.”