I spent over two hours in the Preston Bradley center with Reverend Jean Darling, David Karcher , and Virginia Polk, which provided more material than I could possibly cover in one readable blog entry. Below are some of the things that I ran out of space to cover.
Reverend Preston Bradley was quite a character. My favorite story was that he was suspended from Moody Bible college for being seen leaving a movie theater and smoking a cigar. He, in fact, left quite a few organizations because he was “too” liberal, he started as a Presbyterian minister but was accused of heresy because he wouldn’t accept that unbaptized infants were going to hell. After leaving the Presbyterians and the Moody Bible College, he started his own church which merged with the existing People’s Church in 1912.
This is the small green door (David Karcher kindly providing size comparison). It leads to the roof over the auditorium, probably for repair purposes. This also quite nicely demonstrates the cause of the half-floors. The auditorium is a full three stories high (out of six mind you) and the bottom bit takes up over a story itself. Therefore, the balcony ends up aligned halfway through the second floor and the very top of the dome halfway through the third.
As for the Mason’s Hall. Below is one of the blackened murals lightened up as much as my scanty Photoshop skills would allow.
You can see the oasis on the left side along with maybe a building? Here’s what it looks like unedited; the oasis is still slightly visible if you really squint. This is on the East side (to your left when you walk in).
A few more Mason’s Hall pictures. I really wish I had thought to take a (real) panorama shot. This is of the back (North) wall and you’d walk into the hall from that left corner.
It’s hard to get a full feeling for the south-oriented front, but here’s a Frankenstein image to give an idea.
Finally the last set of murals on the West wall (to your right as you walk in).
Moving on, here’s a shot of the heating/cooling system. It was high-tech for it’s time because it heated outside air which was then ventilated throughout the building via fan. Starbucks cup not original as far as I understand.
The church shared a few old pictures with me; my favorite showed how large the congregation once was (it’s now down to 20-30 people).
I have a few more things to show but I can’t bear to deal with any more photo editing tonight.
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