Luther Eskijian Architectural Collection
Finding aid created by Special Collections and Archives staff using RecordEXPRESS
California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. Special Collections and Archives2019
Robert E. Kennedy Library, Rm 409
San Luis Obispo, California 93407
Title: Luther Eskijian Architectural Collection
Collection Number: MS0166
Creator/Collector: Eskijian, Luther
Extent: 33 linear feetOnline items available
Repository: California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. Special Collections and Archives
San Luis Obispo, California 93407
Abstract: Includes commercial and residential architectural drawings and plans created by Luther Eskijian, an Armenian architect, whose work is located primarily in southern California. His work included the Pasadena Jewish Community Center and the Armenian Cilicia Evangelical Church in Pasadena.
Language of Material: English
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Luther Eskijian Architectural Collection. California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. Special Collections and Archives
Luther Eskijian was born on November 1, 1913, in a small village named Ekiz-Oluk in the mountains of Syria where his father, Reverend Hovhannes Eskijian was called to his first ministry. His father was killed in 1916. In 1920, Luther emigrated to the U.S. with his widowed mother and his brother John through Ellis Island. As a young man struggling to help support his family he cleaned and repaired rugs. Luther eventually established himself in business and obtained an education as an architect. While still in Junior College, Luther designed the early Cilicia Armenian Church in Pasadena, California at no charge to the community (it is still standing). At the age of 24 he designed and built a commercial and apartment building in Pasadena, that was later a source of retirement income for himself and his wife. He had several other investments and development projects underway when World War II began. When the U.S. began taking a role in the war, a restriction on steel was imposed in the U.S. and his development projects were interrupted. Luther was then drafted into the U.S. armed forces and served from October 1942 to January 1946. He married his fiancée, Anne Hotzakorgian, in November of 1943 at the base chapel of Camp Monroe, North Carolina prior to being shipped overseas. In retirement, Mr. Eskijian spent many years in the planning and construction of an outstanding edifice of ancient Armenian architecture, a Sanctuary and Museum, in Los Angeles. The sanctuary is unusual in that it used modern materials, but incorporated ancient designs, with beamed ceilings, a central copula with an ancient Armenian gold cross on top, stained glass windows of Biblical scenes, natural split face blocks and marble altar. The lower floor of the sanctuary contains the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, which houses many historical Armenian artifacts from before the time of Christ, along with European and Middle Eastern artifacts, handcrafts of the Armenian people, art and sculpture. The collection includes an outstanding sculpture outside the Museum conceived by Mr. Eskijian called "Mother Armenia Arising out of the Ashes," dedicated to both those who survived and perished in the Armenian Genocide of 1915. His work has been featured in Masonry Magazine, and became a study for college students.
Commercial and residential architectural drawings and plans for building located in southern California including Pasadena, San Gabarial, Downey, Fresno, and the Los Angeles region.
Architecture, Western (Western countries)
Buildings--Design and construction
Western architecture (Western countries)
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, Armenian Church