Saturday, December 1, 2007
Korean Philadelphia Presbyterian Church
1924 – S. Tilden Norton
407 South New Hampshire Avenue – map
Around 1906, a schism among the city’s Orthodox Jews had a group leaving Beth Israel and the Olive Street Shul to form Sinai congregation. Sinai first set up on West Pico, then dedicated a new synagogue on South Valencia on September 5, 1909. That 1909 synagogue was designed by S. Tilden Norton and is Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 173. Stop back in July to see it.
In 1925, the group began holding services in the still-under-construction Temple Sinai East, this 1,400-seat building, also designed by Norton. It remained a synagogue until 1960, when Sinai relocated to its current home in Westwood.
In Landmarks of Los Angeles, McGrew and Julian write the New Hampshire building is “considered the birthplace of Conservative Judaism in Los Angeles.”
Parts of the The Jazz Singer were filmed here. No, not the Al Jolson version nor even the Neil Diamond one, but the Danny Thomas movie from 1952. Who knew such a thing existed? Peggy Lee’s in it.
Today, L.A. HCM No. 91 is the Korean Philadelphia Presbyterian Church. The church was closed both days I stopped by, or else I’d’ve gone in and prayed real hard to find a parking space in the neighborhood. (I should’ve taken the Metro, with a stop about two blocks away.)
How long does it take to chuck pairs of shoes up onto telephone wires? While aesthetically pleasing, it seems like a lot of work.
Here's a Jewish Journal article on Sinai's centennial.
If you are in the area (Koreatown) and are by the church, do yourself a favor and head north a few blocks and west a bit to grab a look at this 1928 garage at 248 South Berendo Street. Not a city landmark, but pretty cool nonetheless.
Up next: Old Stage Coach Property