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XI

THE CHURCH IN THE GARDEN

Central Union's astonishing growth in membership and consequent increase in attendance created a real problem of overcrowding at the Richards Street location. With the city's growth, traffic had increased on Beretania Street, and the traffic noise entered the sanctuary through the many open windows that the church planners had insisted upon. Also, the decision to build their church right up to the property line in every direction meant that the congregation was now playing an unwilling part in the new bustling activity going on out in the street. From 1907 until 1920, when a decision to move was made, minutes and annual reports reflect the frustrations of the minister and congregation alike in dealing with the church's noise and ventilation problems. Installation of a "forced draft ventilating system," a final effort to cope with the problem, was instead the last straw; the noise of the system at work proved worse than traffic noises alone. An additional reason for relocation was a shift in Honolulu's population out of the heart of the city and into "the country"—Manoa and adjacent areas.

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