Many religious groups construct, manage, or are in other ways associated with secular buildings. For example, the Benedictine order of monks at Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon dedicates their lives to work and quiet prayer. They have an Alvar Aalto-designed library open to members of the public who are pursuing scholarly research. The library embodies the Order's mission to be "a place of peace and solitude in a very busy world."10
The Bethel A.M.E. church in San Francisco is affiliated with the Freedom West Homes located a short distance away. Robert Royston designed the landscaping around this residential development.
Nearby in San Francisco, what is today the Zen Center was once the Emmanuel Sisterhood building. Built in 1922, it served as a residential facility for Jewish women. According to Sara Holmes Boutelle, "the building was bought in the 1950s to serve as the San Francisco Zen Center."11 Six pointed stars are still visible on the building's exterior.
Some religious groups run camps for children and teenagers. The Brandeis Camp Institute in Simi Valley, CA (now known as the Brandeis-Bardin Institute) was never run by a specific Jewish temple. However, it was "founded by Dr. Shlomo Bardin to safeguard against assimilation of young American Jews by making 'the great ethical heritage of Judaism'relevant to them."12 Today it is "the largest parcel of land owned by a Jewish institution outside the State of Israel."13
11) Boutelle, Sara Holmes, Julia Morgan Architect. New York: Abbeville Press, 1988, p.107