Institute for Arts and Media

Plaza Methodist Church

The Plaza Methodist Church was located to its present site, in the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, in 1916.  The Church was re-located from Bloom Street when it bought the adobe once owned by Agustí­n Olvera (the man for whom Olvera Street is named).  Built on the Adobe site, The Plaza Community Center included the chapel and various social service offices including the first Goodwill Industries in Los Angeles.

The Church provided spiritual, economic, and medical services to Mexican, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese immigrants in the poor urban neighborhoods.  In order to expand its facilities in 1925 the Plaza Community Center was razed and the Spanish Colonial Revival church, that is seen today, was completed in 1926.  The Plaza Community Center’s dental, medical clinic, social services and Methodist Headquarters is housed in the building next door, the Biscailuz Building.

The State of California purchased the Church, Community Center and Headquarters in 1956 under the threat of eminent domain to create the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District.  The Church signed a 50-year lease to continue operations that was successfully renegotiated in 2011 with the City of Los Angeles.  Located next to the church is the Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, which is the premier venue for the expression of traditional and contemporary art and culture from the Mexican, Mexican American and Chicano perspective.