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First Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, CA

April 15, 2016

During the twenty years before World War I, Anglos from the Midwest and East Coast flooded southern California, and brought with them the full array of cultural baggage, including the full array of Protestant denominations. They came in such numbers and with such fervor that buildings like the former First M.E. church in Los Angeles multiplied rapidly.

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Born in England in 1870, architect John C. Austin emigrated to the U.S. as a very young man, apprenticed in Philadelphia, worked in San Francisco and then relocated to Los Angeles in 1895. He remained there until his death in 1963. First M.E. is barely a blip in his long list of executed work, despite being a sophisticated example of the D-2 type. Given the frenzy of L.A. in the 1920s, I’ll be surprised if this building stood very long.

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