Joe, a reader of this blog, writes: “I thought you might like seeing a video of the Palo Alto Unitarian Church from 1958, “The Groundbreaking and Construction of the Church Main Hall and Buildings.” This film was shot by Donald Borthwick and William Kellogg from March to July 1958. In 2007, Rae and Elton Bell had the 8mm film digitized and transferred onto a DVD to show at a celebration at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (UUCPA). I added the music and uploaded it to Google Video.”
Those of you who aren’t part of UUCPA may find this excruciatingly boring (unless you’ve worked in construction, in which case you’ll be saying to yourself over and over again, Boy I can tell this was before the days of OSHA). So watch a minute or two, and notice that the church is being built far from the center of Palo Alto, but along a road where cars pass several times a minute. This was where you were supposed to build churches in the late 1950s: at the edge of suburban development along a fairly busy road (gas was cheap in the 1950s, and public transportation was considered passe).
The fellow wearing the clerical robe at the beginning is Rev. Danford Lyon, then minister of the church. Thanks for uploading the video, Joe!