Long Beach Heritage and First Congregational Church invite the community to Preservation in Action: Restoration of First Congregational Church with John Fidler. The free tour, discussion and reception takes place Sunday, November 10, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, at 241 Cedar Avenue in Downtown Long Beach.
“If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind all that scaffolding, here’s a rare chance to see it for yourself and hear directly from the people doing the work,” said Sarah Locke, executive director of Long Beach Heritage. “Each preservation project is unique, fascinating and crucial to keeping in tact what makes Long Beach special.”
Intended as “as a tower of faith in the heart of the city” as described at its 1914 dedication, First Congregational Church is the city’s oldest standing church structure and one of its oldest congregations. More than a century of ocean air and pollution have taken its toll on the building’s beautiful brickwork, decorative terra cotta, and distinctive windows of lead and stained glass. Technical preservation specialist John Fidler will describe the $2 million restoration currently underway at the church, funded by an ongoing capital campaign.
John Fidler is an internationally renowned expert in the conservation, restoration, and rehabilitation of historic buildings, ancient monuments, and archaeological sites. He formed John Fidler Preservation Technology Inc. in 2012. Before moving to America in 2006, he served as conservation director at English Heritage in London, vice president of ICCROM (international training center for conservation) in Rome, and a member of the conservation grants committee of the Getty Foundation. In addition to First Congregational Church, his current work includes the stabilization and repair of the 1939 Slipstream Moderne facades of the former May Company store (now Academy Museum of Motion Pictures) in
Long Beach Heritage, a nonprofit organization supported by members and volunteers, is the preeminent resource for advocacy and education about the integral role architectural heritage and historic places have in the city’s unique character and its future development. For more information, visit lbheritage.org or call (562) 493-7019.