Vallejo Drive Seventh Day Adventist Church
A Modern, almost Googie design rare in ecclesiastical buildings, with a round, folded-plate roof and a circular sanctuary and a delightfully playful take on Mid-Century Modern.
Southern California has exuberant Modern-style churches with swooping rooflines, elegant façades, and stunning stained-glass windows. Yet churches with round, folded-plate roofs are few and far between.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church on Vallejo Drive in Glendale fills that gap nicely, with a Modern, almost Googie design you just don't see very often in ecclesiastical buildings. Completed in 1967, the church was designed by local architect Robert Burman of Burman, Clow & Rasmussen. He was an Adventist himself and a prolific church designer, completing more than eighty-five of them on the West Coast during his career. Burman said the Glendale church was one of his favorites, and with good reason: have we mentioned it has a round, folded-plate roof?
The main sanctuary is circular, with its exaggeratedly angled roof converging at a central point to provide good interior acoustics as well as a dramatic exterior appearance.
The gable under each roof point is filled with stained glass in an abstract pattern, and the walls below are clad in specially patterned block masonry.
The building's interior is arranged as a semicircle planned to ensure no one would be more than seventy-five feet from the speaker. Facing the main sanctuary across a large courtyard is a second building that echoes the roofline with a zigzag Googie canopy. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is a wonderful example of a playful Mid-Century Modern style employed to a delightful effect in an ecclesiastical building.