The dome atop the four-story bell tower of the Echo Park United Methodist Church looks fairly small from the street. But Walter Elmer knows different. During the past two days, the 76-year-old Echo Park resident (pictured in the middle), Alex Busing (at left) and Mark Phillips (right) spent several hours perched high above the corner of Alvarado and Reservoir streets giving the dome a new coat of gold colored paint. The dome rises about eight-feet high and is flat on top, said Elmer, who found himself standing on that dome – secured by a rope – to apply three gallons of exterior semi-gloss paint, a shade called Marigold, with a roller. He used a small, curved ladder to climb part way up the dome and then used a rope tied to the cross at the top to help pull himself up. While he was up there, Elmer also gave the cross a coat of white paint. The crew also installed four flood lights.
Elmer, who has been a church member since 1960, has helped paint the dome before but can’t remember the last time he was up there. He just knew he wanted to get the job done before the weather heated up. “There is a nice breeze up there,” Elmer said. “You got a nice view, too.”