LDS Meeting House Reduced To Rubble – May 10, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Top, the mound of rubble as of Friday. Left, the edifice last year. Right, the scene Friday. Photos by KLH | Eye

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

A STREET – The Latter Day Saints Meeting House is no more. Demolition began last Monday at the building’s north end, and by Friday, heavy equipment had chewed through to the south end of the the once-stately brick edifice on A Street.

Monday, a demolition crew took down the building’s last vertical vestige, thefront entrance, which once supported the church spire.

That was left for last, as it had to be handled with special care to ensure that it fell backward onto the building site rather than down the front slope and possibly into A Street.

Bruce McIntosh of Kernen Construction said much of the building will be salvaged and recycled.

During last week’s demolition, piles of aluminum, lumber and fluorescent light ballasts had been set aside from the rest of the rubble.

“Some of it isn’t salvageable, like drywall,” McIntosh said. “Some of it, somebody comes in in the middle of the night and salvages it.”

Red brick cladding from the building will be ground up and re-used as gravel.

McIntosh said demolition had revealed a few instances of questionable construction, such as beams resting on brick, plus rot that had spread not just beyond what had been visible on the walls, but into beams.

“After we started tearing it down, we found all kinds of stuff,” he said.

The front entrance didn’t go down without a fight Monday morning. An excavator operator tried various tactics for pulling the rebar-reinforced concrete block arch down, but though it wobbled and yielded the occasional brick or stick of wood, the stubborn structure held its ground.

Finally, after grinding away at the structure’s shoulder, a large chunk was dislodged.

The rest of the structure was then sufficiently weakened, and with a tug, fell to earth atop the rest of the ruins.

The A Street site will take about two weeks to fully clear. The building’s concrete foundation will be left in place.


36 Responses to “LDS Meeting House Reduced To Rubble – May 10, 2012”

  1. I remember the Sunbeams outside, practicing "Walking Reverently" with their arms crossed.

  2. Sherrie Kilpatrick Van Orden

    Lots of memories in that building!

  3. When I had to work patrol on Sunday mornings, I would slip into the Sacrament meeting to partake of the Sacrament (like communion). A few minutes later I was back in my patrol car. My 7-8 minute stop was a highlight of the day. Small consolation for having to work on the Sabbath day. Thanks for covering this so well, Kevin.

  4. first time i ever went to church was there, i was baptized there:-( sad to see it go, lots of memories!

  5. Holy smokes. Hard to believe it fiinally happened. I drove by there on my way to school about 3 weeks ago. The building looked very sad and lonely. I guess it was time to go…

  6. Wow, that is crazy! Are they building a new chapel in it's place?

  7. Didn't even know this was happening…:( anyone know what the plans are for the site? Is it still church owned property?

  8. Andrew Cupp

    That's too bad.. I always liked seeing that building, regardless of how empty it was.

  9. Sad to see any building taken down, especially one with so many memories, not for me of course as I live in Vermont, but it still makes me wonder about all the laughter and the tears. Enjoy the memories again and again and again!

  10. Jeff Roberts

    That's a shock. Loved the location of the building. What will take its place?

  11. Mary A. Smith

    That's so sad. I loved that building. Such a cool location.

  12. Not sure. Heard it would be sold. Problems with undereground water or something like that. The local PM guy told me once that he had to wear a HAZMAT suit whenever he went in there the mold and other things were so bad. It sure is a prime spot.

  13. So sad I was Baptized there.

  14. I grew up attending church in that building, was baptized there and first marriage there. I remember Grace Jones and Minnie Herrin and Myrtle Dillon talk about building it. Happy memories. Such a waste to have to destroy the building. Sadness.

  15. I grew up attending church in that building, was baptized there and first marriage there. I remember Grace Jones and Minnie Herrin and Myrtle Dillon talk about building it. Happy memories. Such a waste to have to destroy the building. Sadness.

  16. grace, Minnie and Myrtle. <3

  17. Stacy Jewell

    I wanted to cry! So many wonderful memories there!

  18. Why did it get taken down??

  19. Renee Southwick Allen

    I guess the time finally had to come since it was condemned and not usable anymore. It still looked so pretty and stately from the outside. Many good memories for our family there.

  20. Cebre Allen

    James Winfield, That's what I want to know. What's going up there instead? Is it still LDS property?

  21. Cebre Allen

    I remember running up and down the stairs, and through the halls. I also remember sleeping underneath the pews when I was just four years old.

  22. Betsy Blackwell Fowers

    Many memories of running around that building. Sad that it's gone because it was always fun to see when I went home to visit.

  23. i got baptized there, sad to see it go!

  24. Heather D Kim

    That's where I grew up. It was such a prominent & unusual piece of architecture for Arcata, that I'm sure we who spent so much time there won't be the only ones missing it.

  25. We have been out of town so I didn't know it happened already!! I was baptized in that building, met Rob there at the singles branch… So many memories!!

  26. I can't believe it's gone.

  27. Renee Southwick Allen

    Alicia — And I met you in that building. I remember when you and Tammy showed up in YW and you were "new" girls because you'd been living in (was it) Florida? I wondered how everyone knew you, but you'd lived there before.

  28. Loved the building, not so much the parking! It a landmark for many years. Met my husband there too.

  29. Memories, I too was baptized there, in 1976 January 10th, from that day forth, my life changed, then in 1981 I was hired as custodian, I took care of the Building, and it took care of me, in more ways than one. I will never forget preforming there in Road Shows, Halloween parties and Scout events.
    Gone but no forgotten, Memories I will forever cherish.

  30. Lindsay B Holmes

    I attended here in the early 60s. Baptized here. I remember when it was remodeled and expanded. Was in primary then. Lots of good memories. I knew Mildred Dillon. Lots and lots of memories. Can't believe the new building in McKinnlyville. That is where I lived.

  31. Hi Lindsay, I had no idea you lived in Mckinnleyville. My son is serving a mission in the Santa Rosa mission and spent several months in McKinnleyville. He loved it there and is really enjoying the Santa Rosa mission.

  32. I was Baptized there 11/14/69, at 6:00 AM so my parents could make it to an afternoon session at the oakland temple.

  33. Lindsay B Holmes

    Cindy Judson Anderson Yep, lived in Mckinnleyville from about age two to age 9. We lived at the Airport when the old air force barracks were still there. Turned 9 in October of 69 and January of 70 moved to Santa Rosa. Haven't been through there for almost 10 years. Used to stop on our way down to see mom and dad while they were still there. Their home is in Payson now.

  34. Ooohhh..I didn't know…Was this the old Arcata building?

  35. Renee Southwick Allen

    Yes, the one right up by HSU.

  36. Melinda Moore French

    Wow. I didn't know that this was down. I remember going to primary with you there…and being in your first wedding.


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