Location: 110 Eleventh Ave SE
Religious institutions

united churches 1950United Churches of Olympia, around 1960, United Churches of Olympia collection OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnited Churches of Olympia today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The United Churches of Olympia is a federated congregation  of the First Congregational Church of Olympia and the First Presbyterian Church of Olympia. Both of these institutions are among the earliest in the city. First Congregational’s original building was near this location, at 10th and Capitol Way. First Presbyterian was located on the corner of Legion and Franklin, where the Sears Building is. The federation occurred in 1915, and the congregations began meeting in the First Presbyterian church’s newer brick building at its original location. The Congregationalists used proceeds from the sale of their original structure to purchase the First Sunset Insurance building across the street from the Franklin Street church.

The church acquired the current location through a donation by the Lemon family and the purchase of adjacent property in 1939. The 1949 earthquake made the previous location unusable, and the congregation met at the Olympia Theater until the basement of the current building was completed, stowing away the Tiffany stained glass windows for later installation. The congregation then met in the basement pending construction of the rest of the building. The main part of the current building was dedicated in 1955. The side chapel and other extensions were completed in the 1970s, and the original Tiffany windows that had been in the First Presbyterian building were installed there.

Although built in the 1950s, the church building is traditional in form, with a steeple and tall stained glass windows running along its length, and a rose window on the west side.

Additional resources:

Washington State Historical Society, enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box: C1986.

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross