The Holy Family Catholic Church is a magnificent parish situated on Elk Avenue in Glendale, California, comprising of a Catholic church, an elementary school and a high school for girls. Constructed in 1926 for the First Church of Christ, Scientist, its intense white exterior, sharp angles and colonnaded entrance project a majestic image that helped to include it in a list of local historic monuments. In 1908, the church acquired land near East Lomita Avenue and Adams Street, where a single-structure church was erected. In 1921, the current church building on Elk Avenue was completed, although it was not inaugurated until 1922. The 65 members of the parish had previously traveled to mass at the Plaza Church in Los Angeles or at the San Gabriel Mission.
Masses were offered in the relatively intact wing of the church until the damaged main section of the church was repaired. The church, designated as a “cultural heritage monument”, was severely damaged in the Northridge earthquake. Glendale churches often provide children's ministry programs, young adults, youth groups, choirs and adult education. But within that classic American exterior is one of the largest Armenian congregations in Southern California.
Church leaders have called for the building to be the first to be removed from a list of 34 protected sites in the city's general plan, a request that was recently discussed at the first of several scheduled hearings. Mary's officials and her lawyers argue that, by creating such restrictions, Glendale's historic preservation ordinance violates the right of church members to practice their religion freely under the First Amendment. Humberger also said that church officials are wrong to say that historic preservation laws are ruining their plans for the building. Glendale churches describe themselves with words like multigenerational, traditional and creative liturgy.
The Holy Family Catholic Church is no exception. It is one of the largest churches in Glendale and its majestic architecture makes it stand out from other churches in the area.