Photo: Eastsider LA
The zombie apocalypse begins in Silver Lake.
That's the home to the former Bethany Presbyterian Church, which plays a large role in the first episode of AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead." We first see the effects of the zombies in Los Angeles there, and one of the show's main characters witnesses a zombie bloodbath.
In real life, the empty church sits in a fairly pricey and desirable neighborhood, and indeed, there has been talk for some time of turning the Bethany (located at Griffith Park Blvd. and Lucile St.) into a boutique hotel.
Coincidentally, we were just there last night, eating dinner at nearby Pine & Crane restaurant, at Sunset Triangle Plaza. Yep, the chruch is still there, boarded up and creepy. It's not always abandoned, though: It's been used as the home of the Silver Lake Chorus. But as Eastsider LA wrote way back in 2011, plans are afoot to completely renovate the Bethany:
The imposing front doors to the former Bethany Presbyterian Church in Silver Lake are locked shut, the entryway is strewn with trash and shards of broken terracotta roof tiles litter an overgrown garden. A man sleeps alongside of the building, which is topped by a rusting white cross. The church, which neighbors say has not been used on a regular basis for several years, has definitely seen better days since parishioners gathered 80 years ago to lay the cornerstone for the $75,000 Romanesque-style church and Sunday school at the corner of Griffith Park Boulevard and Lucile Street. The church, however, may once again serve as a sanctuary – not for the faithful but for tourists and travelers wanting to bed down in Silver Lake style. The leader of this church revival is Silver Lake resident Dana Hollister, who has renovated many other neglected neighborhood buildings and helped open popular restaurants and bars, including Cliff’s Edge and the 4100 Bar.
Hollister is now taking on perhaps her most ambitious project, turning Bethany Presbyterian into a boutique hotel with 20 rooms and a “food component” or restaurant. “I want to do something that is conservative and appropriate,” she said.
The church is spooky enough that last year it was the site of the scary play "Delusion: Masque of Mortality."
1629 Griffith Park Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 9002