Church and Organ History

…Let us sing the old-new song of salvation and let our measure of time and joy be spiritual, not material.

–Mary Baker Eddy

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Alameda, California, was organized on January 19, 1898, and incorporated under the laws of the State of California in March 1903. In 1907, the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Walnut Street was purchased. In 1920, Carl Werner (1875-1943) was hired as architect and Ira Coburn as contractor to build the church edifice. The structure was completed in January 1922, and on Sunday, February 12, 1922, the church held three opening services at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 8 p.m.

Church Edifice.  The church edifice, built in reinforced concrete, was designed in an elegant neoclassical style.  A spacious foyer leads into the auditorium that has a seating capacity of 210. In 1978, the church was designated an historic landmark by the City of Alameda.

Later Additions.  There were two additions to the original structure.  In 1954 architect Andrew Haas redesigned the interior of the east wing and added a nursery wing.  And in 1995, David Wade Byrens of Oakland completed the remodel of the Sunday School.

Pipe Organ.  The original 1921 pipe organ, installed by the Hall Organ Company of New Haven, CT, included two manuals and pedal division encompassing 650 pipes.  In 2006, the organ was rebuilt by the Robert Pearson Company of Ludington, MI. With new pipe work and a state-of-the-art electronic relay switchboard, the organ now has 15 ranks of 860 pipes plus two digitally produced voices all perfectly scaled to a live auditorium that has a reverberation of 2 and 3/4 seconds.