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First Baptist, Oakland, CA (again)

March 29, 2017

First impressions can be deceptive. And this works both ways: unlikely prospects prove to be excellent examples of the A-A, while those that seem a slam dunk are embarrassingly wrong. This card of First Baptist Church in Oakland, CA, is a case in point.

I had forgotten that First Baptist was already in the database (two years ago), with an interesting backstory. An earlier A-A church was severely damaged in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the repaired building was then significantly modified during its renovation by architect Julia Morgan. This card is postmarked 1910 and therefore shows the Morgan effect. Her slight simplification of the exterior is evident from one of several post-quake photographs:

The postcard façade is the one on the right here. But neither of these images does more than hint at the exciting auditorium that awaits.

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