David S. Lawyer

June 2000 (original Mar 1995)
This is for people/organizations that use the Throop building.

1. Introduction

2. Throop Hall

3. Light Switches, etc.

4. Noise

5. Building Heat-Vent System

6. PATIO FOUNTAIN (out of order in 2000)

7. Tables and Chairs

8. Electric Outlet Locations

9. PA Systems

10. Kitchen

11. Closing Up

1. Introduction

1.1 This Document

In order to fully understand this document, you should be familiar with the church building. If you're not, inspect the building as you read it. A copy (or two) should be given to people who are in charge of events that use the building. Some people may want to use this document mainly for reference in case they run into problems. Others may want to skip details on areas of the church that they don't use.

Unless you expect to use the building again soon, please try to return this document to the church. Please send the author your suggestions for improvement and note any errors and/or omissions. His email

1.2 The Building

Throop Unitarian Universalist Church, (sometimes called "Throop Church" for short) is located at 300 S. Los Robles Ave. (corner of Del Mar Blvd.), Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone (818) 795-8625 (Office hours M-F 9-2). The parking lot at 280 S. Los Robles Ave. is just N of the main building. The W half of the main building is the sanctuary (seats about 300) with stained glass windows by Charles Connick, one of the most famous artists in stained glass. The E half is the Parish House (a church building used for administrative and social purposes). Most of the ground floor of the Parish House serves as a large social hall (Throop Hall) with a stage. The kitchen is in a SE wing. To the E is a patio. Upstairs are offices and large meeting rooms. Note that going up Los Robles towards the mountains is going north (N).

1.3 Entrance Doors (with key locks)

These all lock from the outside (all take the same key)

To get to the kitchen backdoor from Del Mar Blvd. you need to unhook the gate on Del Mar by going around it thru a hedge.

2. Throop Hall

Throop Hall may be used for parties, receptions, dances, banquets, performances, and meetings. The size of the hardwood floored area is over 34 by 60 feet. In addition, there is a stage at one end and a carpeted alcove ("Fireside Room") at the other end. It is possible to screen off the Fireside Room using the large sliding wooden partitions. Be careful with them so as to not to bang them into each other, etc. If it is very noisy in the hall, the noise will still be heard in the Fireside Room even if the partitions are closed.

2.1 Restrooms

These are marked by signs: Men's is near the NW corner of Throop Hall not far from the stage. Women's is off the SE corner of the Fireside Room with windows on Del Mar Blvd.

2.2 Refreshment Stands

If a large attendance is expected and there is no room for refreshments in Throop Hall, one may use either: 1. The entrance room (tower narthex) off Del Mar Blvd. with cement floors 2. The outside patio (in fair weather).

2.3 Public Access to Throop Hall

One may walk from the parking lot directly to the patio thru a metal gate. Controlled access (where one needs to collect tickets, etc.) is usually via the Fireside Room door. Put signs on the main door & gate in the parking lot indicating where to go. Read the instructions on the large patio doors on how to open and close them.

3. Light Switches, etc.

For many rooms the light switches are in obvious locations near the door. Other cases are covered below:

3.1 Throop Hall & Stage Lights

The labeled light switches for all of the stage and most of Throop Hall and are in the SW corner of the stage. First, turn on the switch with the lighted handle to light up the switch panel area. The switches for the lights high up on the S wall (near the projection booth) are on the wall below them.

Stage Lights

If you are using the stage footlights note that they do not come on until their covers have been removed due to an interlock. If you are not going to use the stage, please help reduce electricity usage by using only the stage lights that are needed

The mirror ball rotates spots of colored light around the hall for parties and dances. There is only one switch for both the mirror ball and the two small floodlights directly in front of the stage. A toggle switch high on the ceiling (in the middle of the girder nearest the stage) controls whether the stage switch works the mirror ball or the front floods. Besides these front floodlights there are also black studio lamps (floodlights) floodlights at each side of the hall.

The black studio lamps are 500 watt. You may put color filters on them (gels). At present, only two may be used as the existing 2 @ dimmer switches are rated at only 600 watts each. Note that some of the other stage lighting also uses dimmer switches. There are two lights (one may have no bulb in it) on the wall near the stage door which turn on by a switch just inside this door.

Throop Hall Lights

Switches (with blue labels) are in SW corner of stage.

3.2 Fireside Room

The light switches for the Fireside Room are near the W. entrance door. One is a dimmer type. The lamps on the mantle have light bulbs in both the top and base and work by a 3-way switch. The exterior lantern above the Fireside Room entrance can be turned on by either the inside or outside switch, but can only be turned off if both switches are off.

3.3 Tower Narthex, Sanctuary Foyer, and S Passageway

The 2 exterior lights above the S church entrance are on the middle lighted switch on the E wall in the tower narthex (a cement floored foyer). The left lighted switch is for the tower narthex itself and the S passageway by the janitor's closet. The foyer at the rear of the sanctuary has a light switch on the E wall to the S.

3.4 Kitchen

A kitchen entrance passageway switch is just to the left of the office stairway below the calendar. An alternate switch for the same lights is by the exterior kitchen door (3-way). The light switches for the rest of the kitchen are behind the refrigerator (N side). The lower switches are for the lights while the higher ones are for the exhaust fans. A red switch (S side) lights the inside of the pantry shelves (provided another switch is on).

3.5 Office Stairway

One switch is just to the left as one heads up the stairway. A second switch (antique) is upstairs at the stairway landing on the N wall (3-way).

3.6 Sanctuary

The labeled house light switches are 3-way (such as on stairways). They are located:

One switch is for the "Rose Window" behind the balcony. The chancel lights high on the ceiling have switches next to the door behind the organ console. The spotlights on the walls for the chancel have dimmer switches to the right of the pulpit. The sconce on the N side of the chancel by the choir has its switch on the wall behind the W portal drapery. In the balcony, one sconce works by a switch by the balcony entrance door while the other sconce uses a pull chain.

3.7 Exterior Stained Glass Window Lights

Brightness and Switches

The light from these is far less than that from natural sunlight so the lights in the sanctuary must be turned off in order to view the result. The inside may be dimly lit by candles (or people may hold candles). The switches for these exterior lights are on the left side of the pulpit. Two of the switches are for the large facade Jesus window but these lights will not come on unless a special extension cord kept in the janitor's closet is connected outside.

Cranking Up the Lights

The "Jesus Window" lights are on a heavy carriage (holding the lamps) that is raised using a hand crank (keys required). When cranking it up, it's safer to put the ratchet lever in the position so that the crank can only turn in the up direction. This lever may be also be placed in a neutral position so that no clicking noise is made when cranking. Use the second method if you don't want to disturb an event in progress in the sanctuary but it's not as safe since if you inadvertently let go of the crank, the light carriage may come crashing down. There is a brake to use when lowering it. Be careful not to get hit by the whirling crank and to fully stop the light carriage collides before it reaches the bottom.

3.8 Patio

The decorative patio lights in the garden have been vandalize and probably don't work. They were turned on by a switch just to the right of the E door to the stage steps (in the SE corner of the hall).

4. Noise

After 10 pm, the neighbors have a right to object to noise. So if it's noisy in Throop Hall, close the large patio doors at 10 pm even though this makes ventilation more difficult. Other doors and windows may be kept open (except for the transoms just above the large patio doors) without disturbing others provided the noise generated is not excessive.

5. Building Heat-Vent System

5.1 Overview

The building has forced air heating and ventilation (but no air cooling). The heat-vent toggle switches are at the top of the basement stairs which are reached via the public telephone room (turn on the lighted switch to see them). There are 3-positions: heat (up), off (center), and vent (down). There are 3 such toggle switches: Throop Hall, the sanctuary, and the upstairs (including offices). Each of these areas has a thermostat on the wall so setting the toggle to heat doesn't provide any heat unless its thermostat is calling for heat. The locations of the thermostats are: N upstairs room on W wall (for all upstairs), W wall of Throop Hall (range limited to 60-75 deg), N wall of sanctuary (locked with a key).

Setting a toggle switch to "vent" or "heat" turns on the ventilation blowers in the basement. In the "heat" position gas heat also comes on to warm the air (use this if it's too cold inside). For dancing or aerobics in Throop Hall you don't want it too warm so set the thermostat in the Hall to say 65 deg. F. But if heat isn't needed it's best not to use the ventilation system at all (keep the toggle switch at "off" in the center position). Open doors and/or windows instead. This will provide more (and fresher) air and/or save energy. However, there are some cases where you may need to use "vent" such as for the sanctuary which has no windows which open. See the sections on "Venting ..."

The "vent" and "heat" positions mix air from the building with fresh air from the outside. The percentage of fresh air is large (say 90%) for everything except Throop Hall where the percent fresh air is much lower. A full explanation is very complex and depends on how dampers have been set up in the basement, outside wind direction and speed, which doors and windows are open, and what blowers are in operation. One reason it's so complicated is that the system was modified by people that had no idea of what they were doing but to to say any more on this would be beyond the scope of this document.

5.2 Throop Hall

Use Building Blower?

Setting the Throop Hall toggle switch to "vent" is one way to get ventilation if you don't have time to open doors and windows (see below). If you keep the doors and windows closed it keeps noise from leaking out (or getting into) the building. If it's hot outside but cool inside the vent position may help by taking some cool air from the sanctuary and under the building and putting it in Throop Hall, but a certain percentage of the air will be fresh (and thus hot). If it's too hot inside but cooler (or about the same) outside, it may be best to keep the ventilator (in the basement) turned off. See below.

In mild weather (spring, fall) just opening the patio doors (without fans) may be sufficient. In cold weather (winter) a large crowd in the Hall will generate some heat so you may not need to use heat. In this case you might open the patio doors just a little so as not to admit too much cold air. Also, depending on outside wind direction and speed, some cool (and partially fresh) air may enter from under the building via the return air grilles low on the W & N walls.

Portable Fans

In hot weather (summer) the best way to make it comfortable in Throop Hall is by using portable fans to obtain cross ventilation (unless it is significantly hotter outside than inside). Estimate the wind direction and velocity by looking at the flag on the main flagpole. If there is sufficient wind, then no portable fans are needed. If you use fans, set them up to aid the direction of the natural outside winds. Otherwise the natural winds and fans will fight each other resulting in little air flow through the hall. The wind usually is from the S or W so a large fan should usually be placed near an open window or door in the Fireside Room or in one of the large W double doorways with the main church doors open.

The doors to the sanctuary should be kept closed since if air is drawn from there much of in will come from the floor vents which draw air from under the building which may not smell fresh. Note that opening the Fireside Room door or windows will bring in street noise but if loud music is being played this makes little difference. If the outside air is nearly still (or blowing from the E), then you may place fans to blow air in the patio doors. Opening the stage door to the parking lot will admit little noise but there may be a smell from a nearby trash bin if the air flow direction is thru this door from the outside in.

For good ventilation you must not only open windows and doors to admit air into the hall, you must also allow it the exit the hall. A common mode is for air to enter in the bottom of a doorway (or window) and exit from the top. Thus, there is two-way flow. But cross ventilation is better where air enters from one opening and exits from another opening on the other side of the Hall. Air may also exit (exhaust) up the stairwells. This may permit you to avoid having to open the doors and windows facing Del Mar and thereby avoid street noise. It may be feasible to exhaust some air thru the kitchen by opening kitchen windows.

Warm air (warmed from body heat and light bulbs) will rise and exit up the stairwells if door(s) to the upstairs' rooms are open. Grilles in the two large upstairs' rooms and the interior restrooms will let some air escape to the outside. For much better air flow, open the upstairs windows. Opening the door to the tower (need a key) will let much air escape via the tower bell room to the outside.

When using fans, keep other windows and doors near the fan closed (unless they have a fan in front of them too) or else much of the air blown in by the fan may exit thru the nearest open door or window defeating the principle of cross ventilation. If you need to close the patio doors after 10 pm due to noise, you may need to open some other doors/windows to make up for the loss of circulation.

5.3 Restroom Ventilation

The restrooms have no exhaust blowers but still need ventilation. The Men's restroom is actually two rooms separated by an interior door. There is a vent grill on the wall of the inner room which vents to the roof. Keep both doors partly open so that air will flow into the restroom and up the vent. Also open another door so that air may enter the passageway between the Hall and the Sanctuary. The upstairs restroom also has a vent so its door should be kept open when no one is using it. A future project is to install ventilation grills in some of these doors. The Women's restroom is ventilated by opening windows.

5.4 Venting the Sanctuary

Since the sanctuary has no windows that open, the vent position of the toggle switch is useful. So is opening doors to get fresher air. Some cross ventilation might be obtained by opening the doors on both sides. The choir room exterior door may be opened but it`s necessary to then provide a way for the air to reach the sanctuary such as drawing the curtain back where the choir sits. Street noise may be a problem if the doors on the Del Mar side are opened. The balcony door will permit warm air to exit the building provided windows and doors are open upstairs. Be sure and air out the sanctuary for about an hour before using it.

5.5 Venting the Upstairs Rooms

The situation is much like Throop Hall except that upstairs there are usually no doors to open to the outside. Open windows (and possibly doors) for cross ventilation. The outside wind speed is higher upstairs so the need for fans is less likely. By opening doors to the halls as well as windows, one may often get good cross ventilation. Doing this in the offices may obviate the need for using the air conditioners and save electricity.

6. PATIO FOUNTAIN (out of order in 2000)

If the fountain has water in it, turning down the switch to the left of it should start it. Don't let anyone throw plants, etc. in the fountain as it clogs up easily. If the water needs changing, unscrew the plastic overflow pipe to drain it and fill with fresh water from the garden hose. If it is clogged up and little or no water is coming out you may attempt to fix it by:

The pump for it may be clogged with sand or the ground fault interrupter (in the basement room near the patio garden faucet) may have tripped.

7. Tables and Chairs

The banquet tables are stored in two compartments under the front of stage on the E side. Pull on the E front of the stage and the carts containing them will roll out. Be careful to push these carts back straight so as to not damage anything. Sometimes tables are stored in the room labeled "Telephone & Basement". The chairs are stored in the room directly across from the men's room. There is a hand truck to help move them. Be careful when moving chairs and tables not to bang them against walls or doors, or drag them across floors.

8. Electric Outlet Locations

8.1 Throop Hall

8.2 Fireside Room

8.3 Stage

8.4 Kitchen

The locations are obvious.

8.5 Patio: No outlets

Use the ones just inside Throop Hall.

8.6 Tower Narthex : No outlets

The Tower Narthex is the entrance room (with cement floor) below the tower. Use the outlet under a seat in the back row of the sanctuary (by S aisle) or one in the sanctuary foyer on the E baseboard.

8.7 Sanctuary

9. PA Systems

9.1 Throop Hall

The microphone jacks (3-pin XLR) at the front of the stage feed amplifiers in the projection booth, which in turn feed the overhead speakers in Throop Hall. To turn on these amplifiers, flip the switch just outside the projection booth upstairs (a red light comes on). If the amplifiers have been previous set up in the projection booth the sound should work OK. If you need to adjust the sound level: get into the projection booth (It's locked & you must turn the burglar alarm off first.) and adjust the silver-colored mixer. There is no CD player yet. The church has some microphones locked up somewhere.

The motion picture screen on the stage is 10 x 15 ft and is lowered by means of a rope. The projection booth is about 75 ft. away. At present the 1000 watt projector is missing arms but a 500 watt one works OK. However 500 watts is too weak for projection from the booth.

9.2 Sanctuary (not up-to-date)

The house PA system is controlled by equipment connected to jacks in the left rear of the sanctuary (SE corner). The speaker consists of 4 old 8" speakers and 2 newer ones. They are in fair condition but interference (comb filter effect) exists unless you use a singe speaker. It's not easy to connect your own amplifier to them since the connector is wired to mate correctly only with Throop's amplifier. The transformers at the pulpit hurt the low frequency response of the 4 house speakers. Thus it's best to use your own PA system or use some better speakers which the church keeps locked up somewhere. The XLR microphone jacks at the front of the chancel are not connected up.

10. Kitchen

10.1 Dishwasher

See instructions on the wall beside it.

10.2 Range

The top burners are lit by matches (since the pilots have been turned off to save energy, reduce heat, and due to missing tubes). The center griddle has pilots but before using them always check to see if they are on by lifting up the griddle. Also check after turning on the burners to see that they fully ignite. If the oven pilots are not on they should be lit with a match. To do this depress the push button under the oven and light the pilot. Hold it depressed until the pilot will remain on when the button is released (about 30 seconds).

GRIDDLE: Nearby the range (perhaps underneath it) will be found a very heavy (over 100 lb.) large griddle. This may be placed on top of several burners for making many pancakes, etc. If it's underneath its feet may be sunk into the linoleum which makes it hard to pull out. Be careful not to let it hit the pilot tubing when pulling it out.

10.3 Exhaust Fans

There are four ventilation fans for exhausting air from the kitchen to the outside. The switches are located:

11. Closing Up

Unless there is another group using the Hall immediately after you, lock all doors and windows, and turn off the lights. It may be OK to leave some windows open in the summertime when there is almost no possibility of rain and the windows are high (over 10 feet) above the ground (or exterior stairway) so that they can't easily be used to gain unauthorized access to the building.

If you are the last group for the day using the hall, turn off the heat-vent toggle switches at the top of the basement stairs. In very hot weather you might leave the switches in the "vent" position to help the building cool down at night. Leave the light on at the bottom of the office stairway (the switch on the right as you start up n and the windows are high (over 10 feet) above the ground (or exterior stairway) so that they can't easily be used to gain unauthorized access to the building.

If you are the last group for the day using the hall, turn off the heat-vent toggle switches at the top of the basement stairs. In very hot weather you might leave the switches in the "vent" position to help the building cool down at night. Leave the overhead light on at the bottom of the office stairway (a switch on the right as you are about to start up the stairs).