The Eastsider L.A. reports that the Foursquare Foundation, the money arm that operates the Angelus Temple built by Aimee Semple McPherson in 1923, is looking to develop some of the temple's properties that ring Echo Park Lake. The blog ruminates about the foundation's playing the “God card” by exercising its right to ignore the historical significance of its architectural holdings — because it believes these properties are exempt from zoning laws.
So far, Eastsider notes, the Foundation (not to be confused with the Angelus Temple's tenants, the Dream Center), has renovated some Craftsman-period homes and McPherson's original parsonage, but now also wishes to build a three-story senior citizen home. This comes just when new guidelines promulgated to protect the lake-area's historic nature mandate that Echo Park's biggest landowner reduce the footprint of its retirement-home complex. In other words, a perfect storm pitting city law, neighborhood sensitivities and moneyed religion against one another is brewing over the lake.