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Glassell Park Mormon church to be demolished [update]

Ruins of the church are visible through pine trees along the 2 Freeway

GLASSELL PARK —  Nearly two years after it was nearly destroyed in a fire, the Mormon church next to the 2 Freeway remains closed, with most of its vast roof missing and its brick exterior tagged with graffiti. The building looks like it will remain in this state for the immediate future because the church has not yet decided what to do with the property (Read update below).

The nearly 15,000-square-foot church, known as a meetinghouse, was constructed in 1990 and served a large Spanish-speaking congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Despite its size, the meetinghouse, constructed on a cul-de-sac between the freeway and hillside homes, was partially hidden from view by large pine trees and shrubbery. It was those trees as well as dry grass and brush near the freeway that caught fire in July 2015. The blaze spread to the eaves and peaked roof of the church.

No one was injured and church members were able to save many valuables. But the charred and roofless meetinghouse was unusable, forcing many of its hundreds of members to attend services at a Mormon church in Glendale. At that time, church officials said it might take two years or more to rebuild the structure.

Will the church be rebuilt or the property sold?  The Eastsider The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to see what was up with the property.

“At this point,” said church spokeswoman Irene Caso,  “the only information I can provide you with is that the Church has not yet determined its plans for the site.”

Update on April 25: Caso says the church has decided to demolish the structure. “The building will be demolished in the next 10 days,” she said in an email. “Demolition will last anywhere from 60-90 days.”

Boarded up windows and tagging mark the church exterior

The charred rooftop of the meetinghouse

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10 comments

  1. It would be a kindness to the community if the Morman church was to at the very least take care of the graffiti while they dilly dally…….My dear friend Alice is an anti-graffiti activist in Eagle Rock and she has pointed out that it is the churches in her neighborhood that are the worst about letting graffiti accumulate. Since she made that observation I’ve noticed this to the the case in other neighborhoods as well. I suspect it has something to do with churches getting a free ride and not having to pay taxes like the rest of us leading them to believe they have no obligation to maintain a pleasant environment for others in the community.

    • Exactly, it’s a valuable piece of land that the church doesn’t have to pay any taxes on so they are proving that they could care less that it’s an eyesore for the community. They are just sitting on it allowing it to turn into a dangerous and ugly pile of junk for all the neighborhood to be ashamed of until they can unload it for a huge chunk of money tax free. Shameful non-answer from the church’s spokeperson. Own up to your wreck and clean up your mess.

  2. Well, it would be nice if the hoodlums in the area wouldn’t destroy things. Why don’t you ask them to clean it up?

  3. Chico, you are very forgiving of the church.

    I suppose I just think churches should try to be good neighbors, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because their neighbors pay for services churches get for free since churches don’t pay taxes. It reeks of ingratitude for a wealthy church to allow a property to become blighted while the hard working, tax paying neighbors suffer from the blight and decreased property values.

  4. Once they demolish the church what are they going to do with the land . Are we going to be affected ?

  5. WouldULikeFriesWithThat

    I always chuckle at the comments about churches not paying taxes that get thrown around on these boards. First you don’t hear these same people crying about their favorite left wing 501-C not being taxed. They are more than happy to have PETA and The Clinton Foundation run tax free but if there is religion in involved its a scream fest. Secondly a church is made up of people that live in your neighborhoods and communities. Guess what? Those neighbors that attend that Tax Free Church pay all kinds of taxes. They pay Federal and in most cases State Income Tax. They pay property tax, occupational taxes, they pay sales taxes, they pay local untilities and countless fees for services that are nothing more than hidden taxes. So if your neighbors decide to congregate together and try to improve themselves and through service projects, youth activities, welfare programs and addiction recovery programs help to improve their communities, then they should be taxed again?
    Like I said some of these post just make me chuckle. 🙂

  6. architecture_cat

    Everyone should pay taxes. Why does a church get tax exempt status? There’s no reason. They are a private organization like every other business.

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