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Presbyterian Church, Hanford, CA

June 11, 2016


Wikipedia says that Hanford, California is “an important commercial and cultural center in the south central San Joaquin Valley” but I know it as the former home of a friend and former student, Jeremiah Johnson. So when I showed him this card, he didn’t recognize the building but thought its style fit the character of the community he once called home.

I found this image interesting for stylistic reasons and had no thought that First Presbyterian might have been an Akron-Auditorium church. The entry vestibule and tower ought to be situated between auditorium and Sunday School (not always, but it often is). Yet the potential S.S. space is in the foreground — and not two stories as you might expect. I’d have bet against this as an A-A church.

Searching for building information (more from curiosity than conviction) I found little, but I also found this other image which turns my earlier opinion on end and hints at a chronology I don’t often find. Seen from the other side, it’s clear that the Hanford church was built in phases.


The first photo shows a neighboring structure — possibly a house — in the left distance. The second image reveals that that building has been replaced by a S.S. wing attached to the entry tower on the side opposite the sanctuary and displaying the characteristic Akron bulge. The street elevation is now nearly symmetrical and, not incidentally, I can now add this building to the A-A database.

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