First Congregational Church

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FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
241 Cedar Avenue (1914)

Architect: H.M. Patterson

Builder: C.T. McGrew

This monumental and richly decorated red brick church is one of the two oldest churches in downtown Long Beach (the other is the First Christian Church, formerly First Church of Christ Scientist, at 440 Elm). The architectural style is Italian Romanesque Revival, with Gothic rose windows. The exterior is richly detailed in terra cotta and ornamental iron. Beautiful pictorial stained glass windows, mahogany woodwork and stencil painting adorn the interior, which houses a magnificent organ. The church was founded by Jotham and Margaret Bixby, who were pioneer founders and developers of the City, and who owned the land on which this church was built. An innovative method for seismic strengthening of unreinforced brick was used on this building, the center core method, which did not affect the rich decorative character of the architecture.