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Then and Now: West Side Church

The towering part of this building hasn’t changed much over the decades, but its purpose today as a restaurant and recording studio is far removed from its original mission.

Then: The West Side Church in River Styx was built in 1911 and became the West Side United Methodist Church in 1949.  Next to the church stood the Pagoda.  Erected in 1912 to replace an earlier houseboat, the Pagoda was a Lake Hopatcong favorite for decades.  To the right of the Pagoda was Jack Sohner’s Ice House.

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Now: The church was gutted by fire in 1968.  In 1971, the congregation built a new church on Maxim Drive.  The original church building, walls still solid, was incorporated into the Pagoda structure to form a large building originally known as Len E’s Pagoda, and for many years as the Lighthouse Disco.  Today, a state-of-the-art recording studio operates in the former church building, while a restaurant, Pavinci’s Italian Grill, and marina operate on the rest of the site.

 

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These and dozens of other "Then and Now" images and stories are available in an updated version of Lake Hopatcong: Then and Now by Marty Kane, president of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. Purchase that and other lake-related history books here on the museum’s website. And see hundreds of photos and other historical paraphernalia at the museum, which is located in Hopatcong State Park.

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