The purpose of this cache is to introduce geocachers to this City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #531. This site is a meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The following information is comes from "The Los Angeles Stake Center, Rededication" paperback book, June 8, 2003. Copies can be obtained for free from Church officials in the building, which is open to visitors on Sundays and when the building is open during the week.
The Newly restored Los Angeles stake center, listed as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, is as unique among Los Angeles churches today as it was when it was built over 70 years ago.
Harold W. Burton (d.1969), architect of hundreds of buildings for the Church, including Hawaii and Alberta, Canada temples, designed the Hollywood Tabernacle, as it was then known, to hold a place of prominence in Los Angeles. It was a way to show that "Latter-Day Saints were serious in their beliefs and committed to the community."
Its unusual design--art deco with distinctive Spanish themes--was purposely designed by Burton without the architectural designs common to the era so as to avoid dating the building. Burton's original design left the exterior color in the grey concrete of its construction, including the eight-story high tower; its gleaming white paint was added later. Some 86, 400 cubic feet of monolithic concrete--a new material at the time--were used in the building's construction, enough to make a four-foot sidewalk 13 miles long.
The interior is unusually ornate for a Latter-Day Saint chapel and includes stained glass windows, a pipe organ, solid mahogany pews and hand-stenciled timbers. At 32,000 square feet the church is larger than even today's average Latter-Day Saint chapel.
The chapel was originally dedicated on 28 April 1929 by Church President Heber J. Grant. At $250,000, it was the most expensive building the Church had undertaken, aside from its temples. Much of the money and labor of construction was provided by local members.
As the community of Los Angeles grew, the chapel housed several congregations including a deaf congregation and several Spanish and Korean congregations. In the 1950's an exterior annex was added to the north chapel grounds. More classrooms were also added, but cleverly disguised behind the wooden paneling that runs the length of the cultural hall.
After almost 50 years of use the building was in need of repair, but cost would be high. The Church considered selling the property due to the high cost of refurbishment, but decided instead to restore the building and have it continue to serve the inner city and west side Los Angeles communities.
The first chapel restoration was in the late 70's. Despite that and other interim efforts, the building entered the 90's with much of its original plumbing, heating and electrical systems still in place. The problems and risks generated by these outdated systems prompted the restoration project that began in 1997.
Again, the Church felt that the seven million dollar cost of renovation was worth the continued service and presence in the community, and not just in the physical sense.
Click here for a list of all City of Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monuments
A note about the cache: It's easy, but on Sundays the difficulty factor jumps up a notch due to the church-going muggle factor. However, a keen geosense and some crafty thinking will have this hide in your hand regardless the day.