Mexican Presbyterian Church/ Gethsemane Presbyterian Church – 960 W. Bluff Street

960 W Bluff Street [WBHD], Mexican Presbyterian Church/Gethsemane Presbyterian Church, c. 1908; 1925; 1943-44.  Gethsemane Presbyterian Church is a Spanish-language church located in a small enclave of folk houses north of Belknap St. and west of Henderson St.  In 1943 the church, then called Mexican Presbyterian Church, moved to W Bluff St. bringing with it a small building that had served at its previous location.  That structure was placed on the north side of the lot to serve as an educational building, and a circa 1908 house on the south portion of the lot was expanded and remodeled to serve as the church sanctuary.  The rough stone Mission style porches and a stone wall creating a courtyard between the two buildings were also built at this time.  Marbles and pieces of Mexican tile brought by members of the congregation were used to decorate a stone well built inside the courtyard.

Great care has been lavished on the church over the years, and it is the focal point of this small neighborhood.  By 1991 the church had outgrown the small facility.  In order to provide day care and other community services, plans were drawn for a new facility to be located at the center of the lot.  The church was encouraged by local preservationists to provide a link with the church’s heritage by keeping the Mission style porches, wall, and well and incorporating them into the landscape plan for the new building.  As It now stands, the church is a contributor to the potential West Bluff Street Historic District.

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