Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Can Churches Fall From Grace?

There are many jokes that could be made about opening a bar on church property, and the L.A. Times includes a few in its article, "A Spirits-Filled Church?" The church in question is the Little Country Church of Hollywood on Argyle.
A 1943 postcard from Cardcow.com:

As the Times notes, this is not the first time the idea's come up. Here's a paragraph from a 1999 Variety story:

"Susan Moore of the hip Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop is planning a 200 seat restaurant on the the grounds of the Little Country Church of Hollywood. The Hollywood Bungalow, on Argyle, close to the Pantages, will have outside dining and a deck facing the old church. The property has 150 mature trees, more nature than is usually found in the middle of Hollywood. . . . "

Now, as in 1999, residents oppose the plan and seem to have stopped it cold. But leaving the property vacant doesn't serve the community either. The building, declared an historic-cultural monument, has not been used as a church since 1997; vandals, fire, and neglect threaten it.

The Times article (by Bob Pool) ran through the history of the building, built by Rev. W. B. Hogg, a radio preacher, in 1933-34. The Billy Graham Center Archives in IL has recordings of 24 of Rev. Hogg's radio show from the 1930s, on four audiotapes.

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