Fifteen historic places of worship throughout Santa Monica will be featured at our annual architectural tour. Sacred Places will explore the architectural beauty, history and culture of churches, chapels and a synagogue. Selected for their historical significance, and cultural diversity, these sites are also located in different parts of our City.
Established in 1875, just months after the City’s founding, First United Methodist and First Presbyterian both began as small wooden chapels downtown and later evolved into major modern architectural landmarks. Also downtown, Saint Augustine’s rose from the ashes of a disastrous fire in 1966 that destroyed the original 1887 wooden church. Nearby, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox offers a glimpse into ancient Eastern Orthodox traditions.
Our City’s oldest African-American church, Phillips Chapel was founded in 1906. The church adaptively reused a former school building, later remodeled in the 1940s to include commemorative stained glass windows. It was designated as a Santa Monica landmark in 2005 to honor its centennial. The large scale of Calvary Baptist Church, also serving African-Americans, reflects its former mid-City population base prior to construction of the freeway.
Two churches with predominantly Latino congregations will be featured: Saint Anne, founded in 1908, which has an outdoor shrine; and Iglesia el Sermon del Monte, which meets in a building originally built as a Baptist church in 1919 with magnificent stained glass windows.
This self-driving or biking tour offers several designated check-in locations (marked with an asterisk below). Visitors will be provided a map and detailed brochure to select sites to see, as time may not permit visiting all 15 locations. Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for the public. Tickets may be purchased online or by sending a check to P.O. Box 653, Santa Monica, CA 90406. Please indicate the number of tickets you desire and whether you are a Conservancy member, and include your address, email and telephone number.
List of Tour Sites:
Check-in locations are designated with *.