Cathedral California History
On Wednesday, Orange County added a new chapter to its history: the Catholic Church's most unlikely savior officially rededicated a Southern California landmark that has long stood at the intersection of kitsch and postmodernism, just two miles from Disneyland.
The cathedral is as famous for its gates of paradise as for its breathtaking murals and labyrinths. The cathedral itself is said to be the first Protestant church to be converted into a Catholic church. In October 2012, the first event of the diocese took place in the Cathedral, which today houses the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the largest and most famous churches in the world.
The service marked the anniversary of the introduction of Protestantism in Korea and the chapel was embedded in the church building, which housed offices, a rectory and an elementary school. In the mid-1980s, a major renovation project began, and the building was ready to become the new home of the Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi in San Francisco. In 1980, she opened the first of its kind in North America: a chapel for the Catholic diocese of Los Angeles.
The shape of the building is a four-pointed star, and the bell tower of the chapel is modeled after the Cathedral of Cuernavaca (see GELLS), while the 55-foot high nave is a reduced copy of the Cathedral Monreale in Sicily. The cathedral has always been a spiritual center for Catholics in Northern California, but it also attracts tourists of all faiths.
The Crystal Cathedral story is a deeply American story that captures the defining features of the Catholic Church in California in the early 20th century. Finally, it shows that American Catholicism is perhaps as much a part of America's cultural identity as the United States itself.
The first small chapel was built in the years of the Gold Rush in 1849, and the imposing third church, then called the Cathedral of Grace, was destroyed in a fire after the 1906 earthquake. The Spanish Presidio Church, which is preserved, is also the longest continuously operating church in one place in our state. Historic churches recommended that it be declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973, the first such designation in California history.
In December 1985, Archbishop Mahony announced that the sale of the cathedral property was null and void and that Cathedral High School would continue to serve young men in Los Angeles for many years to come. In October 2010, Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for bankruptcy and sold the building and adjacent campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.
Fittingly, the Crystal Cathedral was the scene of one of the most important events in the history of Cathedral High School and home to the first Catholic high school in Los Angeles County. The Crystal Cathedral opened its doors on July 1, 1884, at the same time as the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in New York City. In 1885, under the patronage of Archbishop William F. Mahony, it was opened as a church for the Catholic diocese of San Francisco, California. Fittingly, the Crystal Cathedral is the site of an important event in the history of the Theological Seminary: the opening of a new Catholic secondary school.
The cathedral is located in the heart of Los Angeles County, north of the city of L.A. and south of Santa Monica Boulevard.
Visitors to Southern California are welcome to a fascinating architectural gem, many of which were built over 100 years ago. The Byzantine cathedral, built in 1952, is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture with a dome in Byzantine style. Inspired by the architecture of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy, the Cathedral of Grace has stained glass windows and several murals that adorn its south wall, as well as a large mosaic on its north wall.
Though it's bursting with swagger, the Crystal Cathedral is more garage than skyscraper, but it's still one of Southern California's most recognizable landmarks.
The foundation stone was laid on 12 June 1887 and the construction of the Cathedral of Grace began in 1927, but it was not until 1964 that the first phase of the construction, the Crystal Dome, was completed. After founding Saddleback Church in southern Orange County in the early 20th century, a few months after the opening of his first church in Los Angeles, Rick Warren completed the construction of the Crystal Cathedral. The congregation then moved to the current campus of Christ Cathedral and built a building there, now known as the Arboretum, designed by architect Richard Neutra. Two years later, it was completed by a dedication by the Rev. William B. Blessing and his wife Mary Ann, as well as a number of other people.
The church in its present form dates back to 1861, always in the same original location, but always in a different place from the present one.