Penticton United Church - Penticton, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 29.590 W 119° 35.355
11U E 312502 N 5485504
Quick Description: Dedicated in 1928, this large Gothic Revival church is the only United Church the City of Penticton has ever had.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 9/11/2021 11:52:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM14YD0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
PIC In 1925, with Church Union in Canada, most United Churches were quick to build new churches, or take over former Presbyterian or Methodist churches. Here, however, construction of a new United Church wasn't begun until 1927, with the cornerstone being laid by by the Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught, in 1927. Built on the site of the old Presbyterian Church, the building was dedicated the following year.

Standing on the corner of Eckhardt Avenue & Main Street, the church was designed by architects Sharpe and Thompson of Vancouver; the general contractor was the firm of Haugen and Matson. A large Gothic Revival structure with a massive square corner steeple/bell tower, it is an impressive, if somewhat odd appearing, edifice. The odd, to us, comes from the design treatment of the tower - long, dark stained wooden "sticks", six sets of these at each corner, extending above the roof line. This is a treatment totally unique in our experience. The sanctuary is capable of seating 600.

Covered in blue painted stucco and wooden roof shakes, the building rests on a foundation of rough fieldstone. At the southwest corner of the tower is a smooth granite cornerstone, which reads: UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA 1928. Within the tower is a set of carillon bells, installed in 1957.

Penticton United Church
Description of Historic Place:
The Penticton United Church is a large Gothic Revival stone and stucco building located on a prominent corner of Main Street in Penticton, British Columbia.

Heritage Value:
Penticton United Church has historic and cultural value for its association with an important event in Penticton church history, the uniting of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in 1925. Following the union of the two churches, they built this edifice on the site of the old Presbyterian Church in 1927.

From the beginning, the church committee was determined to build the largest and most imposing church in the city. Sharp and Thompson, one of Vancouver's acclaimed architectural firms, was engaged to do the design. The firm was best known for winning the design competition for the University of British Columbia, where they designed a number of Gothic revival buildings, including the Anglican Theological College.

The Penticton United Church is a large structure with a 600 seat auditorium and gallery. Downstairs is an assembly room for Christian education, which can seat 450 people.

This large structure is exemplary of the maturity of the municipality in the late 1920s. The height of the building, use of Gothic design elements, including the tower, use of dressed stone and stucco, and the Gothic stained glass windows are important elements in placing Main Street at the centre of civic life. The newspaper of the day noted, "The completion and dedication of the new United Church of Penticton marks a great step in the spiritual development of the community. The stone and stucco structure is regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in the whole of British Columbia." The cornerstone was laid by the Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught, in 1927. At the official dedication a year later, the church was crowded with worshippers of all faiths.

The church is also valued for its association with many of Penticton's most prominent citizens, many of whom are commemorated through the stained glass windows, organ, chimes, and other church fittings.

Character-Defining Elements:
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Penticton United Church include its:
  • square tower
  • stained glass windows depicting The Good Shepherd, The First Easter Morn, and The Ascension
  • additional stained glass installed in 1995 depicting Saint Francis
  • Gothic arched windows and doorways
  • Use of stonework and stucco
  • Interior design features, including exposed roof trusses
  • pipe organ donated by the Women's Association
  • Okanagan trees, plants, and flowers
  • carillon bells installed in 1957
  • compatible Christian education wing, added in 1952

  • From Historic Places Canada
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Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

Heritage Registry Page Number: Individual pages, not numbered

696 Main Street
Penticton, BC
V2A 5C8

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