Light Through the Oldest Stained Glass in Town.
By Marina Khrustaleva
Pasadena is home to spirituality and art, and it always was. Early congregations started gathering and building their tiny churches in the mid-1870s.
As they grew, they moved into bigger buildings, selling old ones to smaller groups who would often relocate them to a new site in town. The palette of Pasadena’s spiritual life changed from parishioners of European descent (English, German, Swedish, Norwegian) and African American groups to a larger diversity including Mexican, Guatemalan, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Thai, and Armenian.
Between the early 1880s and late 1920s, each of the major congregations built three or four edifices. Very few of the older structures survived: they experienced wind storms, earthquakes, lack of maintenance, and large-scale development. It makes several remaining pre-World War I church buildings in Pasadena even more valuable. The most vulnerable part of these buildings – stained glass – keeps sending us the same rays of magical light that our predecessors were enlightened with a century and a half ago.
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