In 1962, Father Desmond Quinn came to St. Hedwig and recognized the affection that many Hispanic parishioners had for St. Isidore and re-opened the Church in the 70s, providing Mass in both Spanish and English. He also started the St. Isidore Family Center in The People’s Hall. When the church was reopened, a new altar was built, not of marble, but of a 70s-style wood structure.
But Quinn retired, and the Orange Diocese closed St. Isidore on the last Sunday in September 1999, citing lack of Spanish-speaking priests and the costs involved to retrofit the building to meet earthquake standards.
But after its closing, a group of concerned parishioners, local residents, and business leaders banded together to fight to reopen St. Isidore. After ten years of negotiation, the group Comite Del Amor (dba St. Isidore Historical Plaza), entered into a lease-purchase agreement with the Orange County Diocese. The intent is to purchase the chapel, surrounding buildings, and grounds, renew and restore them to their original splendor and designate St. Isidore Historical Plaza as a Historic Landmark and gift it to the City of Los Alamitos to be used as a community center – the Historical Heart of the City.
Funds needed to restore, preserve and protect this landmark:
Your help is greatly needed. Please consider a generous, tax-deductible donation to help save this landmark and preserve this “Historical Heart of the City” for generations to come. Donors will receive a receipt of payment for tax purposes.
Donate by Mail:
St. Isidore Historical Plaza
P.O. Box 1434
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Become A Member
Please consider becoming a member of St Isidore Historical Plaza.
Importance of Saving this Landmark
Built in 1926 – Historical Landmark
- St. Isidore Chapel is the oldest community building in the City of Los Alamitos
- St. Isidore Chapel is one of the oldest buildings in Orange County.
City in Need of “Historical Heart of the City”
- In need of a park and community center that serves as a gathering spot, a venue for celebration, education and spiritual renewal.
A Part of California History
- St. Isidore Parish was established in 1921. Holy Family in Orange and St. Anne in Seal Beach were established the same year. There were only five Parishes established in Orange County prior to 1921, the first being San Juan Capistrano. These parishes were originally part of the Los Angeles/Monterey Diocese.
People of the Community Built the Chapel
- There is a deep history of commitment from the descendants of the original parishioners and community members who built this church with their own hands in 1926. The land was donated by the Bixby Land Co. with a title transfer fee of $10 ($148 today).