From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Announces National Historic Landmark Designation for Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco

September 9, 2004

San Francisco - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced today that the Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

"The Swedenborgian Church is a San Francisco gem of exquisite beauty and spirituality," said Pelosi. "This 100-year old church radiates friendship and community and has been a haven to countless San Franciscans."

The Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco complex on Lyon Street was built in 1895 and is considered one of California's earliest pure Arts and Crafts buildings. The complex consists of three buildings and a connecting garden, and still serves as an active church with little changed from the time of construction. Its creation was influenced by a collaboration of many influential Californians: the painter William Keith, naturalist John Muir, architect A. Page Brown, draftsman Bernard Maybeck, and the Reverend Joseph Worcester who would be its first minister.

During the late 1880s, the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States sought to unite social reform, architecture, art, and the decorative arts. The hallmark of buildings in this style is open plans and straightforward but beautifully finished and furnished interiors.

The church's present minister, Rev. Dr. Rachel Rivers, said : "The architecture of our church in San Francisco seeks to integrate nature and spirit as a representation of our seeking to live lives that help bring heaven to earth."

The National Historic Landmark designation is an official recognition by the federal government of a historic property's national significance and is the highest such recognition accorded by our nation to historic properties. These special places embody the actual sites where significant historical events occurred and represent ideas that shaped our nation.

Today, fewer than 2,400 historic places bear this distinction. The National Park Service nominates new landmarks, with assurances of consent by private owners, and provides technical assistance to existing landmarks. For more information please visit:

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