Grand Avenue Temple

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scooterj
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Grand Avenue Temple

Post by scooterj »

A friend of mine was the speaker at this morning's service at the Gran Avenue Temple so I went this morning to see him.... and used the opportunity to get a few pictures on the inside of this building. 

The services are attended primarily by the homeless and the poor, and you can't tell from my photos since I was on the upper level but the lower level was completely full... probably around a hundred in attendance.

They used a grand piano rather than the pipe organ so I don't know if the organ still works.

Anyway, on with the photos... starting with an exterior shot I grabbed off Google to establish the scene.



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Midtownkid
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by Midtownkid »

Awesome, I've never seen the inside.  If the church folded, I could see it as a cool club.  Kind of like this club I went to in Seattle on Capitol Hill called Chapel.

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Highlander
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by Highlander »

Midtownkid wrote: Awesome, I've never seen the inside.  If the church folded, I could see it as a cool club.  Kind of like this club I went to in Seattle on Capitol Hill called Chapel.

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There have been countless church-to-bar/restraurant conversions here in Scotland.  Not many scots go to church any more unless it's to the mosque.  In any event, why do you have to be 21 just to read about a bar.  I opened Maker's Mark homepage at work once and got the big STOP sign from the company system because it required one to be an adult to log in.

I'm pretty impressed by the pictures (of the Grand Temple).  I did not even realize there was a church like this on Grand.  Looks like they have had some money poured into it as of late based on how well kept the place is....pretty good for homeless and poor people.   

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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by scooterj »

Highlander wrote: I'm pretty impressed by the pictures (of the Grand Temple).  I did not even realize there was a church like this on Grand.  Looks like they have had some money poured into it as of late based on how well kept the place is....pretty good for homeless and poor people. 
Some of the things that interested me about this church for the homeless:

- The service began with a reminder that STD screenings and hepatitis immunization would be available after the service.  Which is great... just not something I'm used to.  :)

- When the offering trays were passed they not only accepted money... they also had a bin for accepting donations of scrap metal.

- Afterwards was lunch in the basement.  Nearly everyone in the service went downstairs for lunch.  After that line cleared they opened the front door to allow others in for the meal.

- And, probably not surprisingly, everyone treated everyone with respect and courtesy.  I didn't feel like an outsider at all.

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FangKC
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by FangKC »

It looks better than I figured it would.  I still see some places where it could use a good paint job (around the windows).

I found these photos of the interior of Grand Avenue Methodist Church on the KC Public Library Local History Database--taken in 2001. 

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Last edited by FangKC on Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PumpkinStalker
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by PumpkinStalker »

I wandered in one day last summer just to check the place out.  Really neat inside, they were having an AA meeting and they thought I was there for that.  Can't seem to find the pictures I took of the place.

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FangKC
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by FangKC »

PS, you should change your name to Snoopy.  :lol:
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by shinatoo »

Great thread. I wish churches got more press like this. At the core, this is 90% of what happens in churches. It's not all scandals, and wars and witch burnings like some would have you think.
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Midtownkid
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by Midtownkid »

What happened to the cornice and pediment?  Where did it go?  haha
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by FangKC »

If we could ever get our downtown population above 30,000, maybe some of these churches would start becoming stronger again.
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moderne
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by moderne »

Did you sneak up onto the balcony.  When I was in there 2 years ago with the historic KC foundation they would not let any one up there as it was unsafe.  What about the water damage and leaks.  When I was in there all of the ornate plaster molding on the east side had dissolved in the water like wedding cake icing.

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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by scooterj »

moderne wrote: Did you sneak up onto the balcony.  When I was in there 2 years ago with the historic KC foundation they would not let any one up there as it was unsafe.  What about the water damage and leaks.  When I was in there all of the ornate plaster molding on the east side had dissolved in the water like wedding cake icing.
No sneaking needed.   While you can't see it in the photos, the bottom level was filled to capacity so they had no choice but to let a few of us up there.    The sound operator is up there too.

I found out later that technically the upper level is condemned, but there was nothing blocking access.  It seemed to me more like they don't want people up there due to liability issues if anyone falls over the edge.   Some of the parishioners are rather, well, lively.  :)

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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by TheLastGentleman »

Came across a cool picture showing this building with its full pediment. Dated 1925.

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Pictures with the pediment are pretty rare, considering it doesn't appear to have lasted very long. This shot is from 1940 and shows it already gone.

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I have a dream of this church and its pediment getting restored in conjunction with a redevelopment of the adjacent office building. From the other posts in this thread, all over a decade old now, it sounds like the church was in serious need of repair.

Interestingly, the office building and church are considered part of the same National Register of Historic Places listing, despite having different owners, at least according to the parcel viewer. Perhaps a developer could be incentivized to restore the church and office building in tandem?

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Roanoker
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by Roanoker »

That brings back memories. I remember attending Youth for Christ rallies every Saturday night at Grand Avenue Temple in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I always sat in the upper right balcony. We'd stop by the restaurant, Roy and Ray's, afterwards for hamburgers, although I wanted to maintain my 90-pound weight, so I always had orange juice. All I could find about the restaurant today was that it was located at 4444 Main. Long gone, I guess.

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FangKC
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by FangKC »

What I worry about is that the church will just sell the building at some point and it will be demolished. Most likely when the tower is converted into apartments, the church will become a parking lot for tenants.

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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by moderne »

I don't know how much it is really in danger of being demolished, more likely just to fall into ruin. It has not closed to this day or been sold off as it is considered the Mother Church of the Methodist denomination in KC. I do wonder what happened to the pediment in those short years. It is in almost worst shape than the 2500 year old Parthenon. I assume it was terra cotta decoration. The terra cotta in the adjacent slightly younger office bldng looks in good shape. That is one perfectly proportioned early skyscraper with all the elements": base, shaft, and capital.

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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by TheLastGentleman »

I don’t see it being demolished for development, but I could easily see it falling victim to a fire. Same with the office tower

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FangKC
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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by FangKC »

And why not sold for development or parking? That Plaza church--that the congregation might sell for development-- is in much better condition physically.

Whether it be the mother church or not, they are not spending money maintaining the building.

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Re: Grand Avenue Temple

Post by moderne »

Its sorta like they put Mother in a crappy nursing home where she is full of bedsores. I do not know the reasoning if it is sentimental or they would have to shift their homeless outreach to some other neighborhood where there would be NIMBY. I would not be surprised to see the city close it as a dangerous building. What can be seen is bad enough, hate to think what structural deficiencies might be hiding.

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