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Bethany Temple, Sierra Madre, CA

August 17, 2015


For all its eccentricity, there seemed to be very little on-line information about Bethany Temple in Sierra Madre, California. One source gives the building a 1922 construction date, at the far end of the A-A phenomenon but not impossible. What caught my eye was the clerestory-lit wing on the left of the domed sanctuary.

Our need for immediate gratification is a phenomenon of the time, however. So a bit more sleuthing brought some interesting information to the surface [thank goodness for Google.Books!] which suggests that Bethany may have been an F-type plan, one with an auditorium sanctuary and a detached Sunday School. Here is another view of Bethany without the S.S. peaking around the corner; the image comes from the Pomona Public Library collections:


The building was designed and built by Sierra Madre mason Louis D. Corneulle (1864/5-1945) in collaboration with the founding minister Dr William Henry Rawlings; it was dedicated on January 1, 1922 with much local acclaim. Indeed, articles about the church appeared as far away as Michigan. And one of those articles notes the “rotunda Sunday School hall” with a diameter of fifty-seven feet and a height of eighteen.

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