Fifteen historic places of worship throughout Santa Monica will be featured at our annual architectural tour on Saturday, October 7, from 1-5 pm. 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, St. Augustine’s rose from the ashes of a disastrous fire in 1966 that destroyed the original 1887 wooden church. Nearby, St. Peter and St. 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: St. 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.
The tour is self-driving and great for biking. It is suggested that guests download this map to select a check-in location and plan their tour, as time may not permit visiting all 15 locations. At check-in, you will receive a wristband and a detailed brochure with the map.
Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for the public. Members of the site congregations and of the Santa Monica History Museum will also receive a special discounted rate. Tickets purchased at check-in will be $30 for members and $35 for the public.
List of Tour Sites:
Check-in locations are designated with *.