Other Articles about Throop Church
This is a history of the Throop Memorial Church (Unitarian Universalist) property at the corner of Los Robles Ave. and Del Mar Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Part of this history in included with the general history of the church. This history will not only cover modifications made to the church buildings, but also concern itself with maintenance policies, problems, and controversies.
The church itself is at 300 S. Los Robles Ave. To the north of it is the parking lot and church school (now rented to others) at 280 S. Los Robles Ave. To the east of the church is a four apartment complex on Del Mar Blvd. which the church rents for additional income.
There is much documentation available at this site about various
physical aspects of the property. See Property Documentation. Of significant
historical interest are:
Throop Church Architecture The Gothic edifice built in 1923
Songs in Light The outstanding stained glass windows
Throop Memorial Church, Unitarian Universalist was originally a Universalist church until the merger with the Unitarians took place in 1961. The present building was built in 1922-1923 as a Gothic style church. The architect was Frederick Kennedy, Jr.
The sanctuary seats about 300 people. But the other half of the building has a large social hall (Throop Hall) with a stage and kitchen, all on the first floor. Upstairs is the church office and classrooms. The church has a high tower. The stained glass windows by Charles Connick (in the Sanctuary) are superb. The construction is a mixture of wood, gunite, hollow tile, reinforced concrete, and steel beams.
After the building was built, a number of modification were made.
On Feb. 16, 1930, a 45 ft. flagpole was erected by the Boy Scout Troop 28 (Throop's).
In the 1950s the kitchen was remodelled. In the 1960s an automatic dishwasher was installed.
In 1957, new water pipes (galvanized) were installed under the building, mainly to feed the sprinklers for the church lawns. Large diameter pipes were used to compensate for future calcium deposits which tend to restrict flow. Alex Porter did most all of the work.
In 1964 a Church School Building (Henry House) was constructed to the north of the church at 280 S. Los Robles. Audio/visual cables were installed (by a church member) connecting various rooms but were never used.
In about 1999, a handicapped restroom was installed in a room that was formerly used for storage of chairs.
This has been a controversial topic at Throop. While most improvements to the building were done by contractors, much of the maintenance of the building has been done by church members. The church has always had a custodian (or sexton) to do cleaning, but church members have often done such things as painting as well as plumbing and electrical repair.
Since 1990, the quality of work done by church members was usually superior to that done by hired contractors. Another way to do maintenance is to hire a handyman and pay by the hour. That way, the quality of the work is likely to be good. During 1995-7, John Miller worked for the church as a handyman and during 2003-4, Jim Blecksmith was the handyman.
With low church membership after 1990, there was a problem in finding people to work on the property. Worse yet, there was a problem in finding of church memebers to oversee the work of contractors and handymen. As a result, contractors often did inferior work and used inferior materials. Also, some handymen would claim more hours of pay than they actually worked.
Laurie Barlow started the "Long Range Planning Committee". It was proposed to obtain a site plan for the church property and get copies made of blueprints. Then after doing a "Condition Survey" there would be a fund-raising drive of some kind to obtain funds for renovation and restoration of the church property.
A special fund raising drive was began to get funds for creating a site plan etc. Little money was raised but a site plan was obtained at a cost of a few thousand dollars. Copies were made of some blueprints.