St. John's in the Valley Methodist Church (Demolished) | Los Angeles Conservancy
St. John's, July 2013. Courtesy of the San Fernando Valley Blog.

St. John's in the Valley Methodist Church (Demolished)

Located in the Winnetka area of the west San Fernando Valley, St. John's in the Valley Methodist Church was an excellent example of a Mid-Century Modern ecclesiastical campus. Southern California architect Reginald F. Inwood, who was responsible for a number of religious buildings and campuses in the region, designed the church to serve the growing number of families in the community after World War II. 

The campus contained a two-story church building (1959) and four one-story classroom buildings (Albert Hoover, 1966), which were arranged in a horseshoe plan around a communal courtyard. Inwood incorporated a prominent cylindrical glass atrium into the church, reminiscent of his design for the Santa Anita Church of Religious Science in Arcadia the year before. 

Other distinguishing elements of the church included metal spiderleg supports that framed side walkways and a minimally-designed metal spire. The classrooms featured floor to ceiling windows and large dividing walls. 

The campus was demolished in 2014. 

The Methodist Church purchased the property on Roscoe Boulevard in 1957. When St. John's opened its doors two years later, it primarily served families who had relocated to the Valley from the Midwest to work in the aerospace industry. 

As the demographics of the Valley shifted over the next decade, the church played a meaningful role in supporting the arrival of new residents and families, regardless of ethnic or religious background. 

In 1964, members of the congregation rallied in opposition to a ballot measure that sought to repeal California's Rumford Fair Housing Act. In the early 1970s, the church was one of a handful of religious institutions in the Valley that held interfaith worship services with the goal of building a fellowship among the region's diverse ethnic and religious communities. 

More recently, the Filipino International Christian Church shared the St. John's campus with the Methodist Church. 

McDonald's Hamburgers
Photo from Conservancy archives

McDonald's Hamburgers

A Googie-style building designed to reveal the restaurant's innovative food preparation techniques, it is the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant still in operation.
Wilshire Terrace Co-Op
Photo by Larry Underhill

Wilshire Terrace Co-Op

Marking a new era in Wilshire Boulevard development, Wilshire Terrace Co-Op was designed to put the single-family "California way of living" into a high-rise context.