Transforming an Iconic Southern California Landmark
GARDEN GROVE, CALIF., (JULY 8, 2019)
- The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will dedicate Christ Cathedral on Wednesday, July 17
- Public Viewing on Dedication Day from 5 to 8 p.m.
– The historic $77 million transformation of Crystal Cathedral (the former home of the Rev. Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power”) to Christ Cathedral – a worldwide center of worship and the heart of Catholicism in Southern California’s Orange County – is now complete.
Honoring the property’s legacy and the structure’s famed modernist architect Philip Johnson, the exterior of the 120-foot-tall, 11,000 glass-paned Cathedral remains visually unchanged. The Cathedral’s interior, however, has transformed from its former Protestant worship space into an intrinsically Catholic church that inspires contemplative prayer and empowers sacred ministry. The historic transformation includes:
- Adding Catholic elements such as a “cathedra,” or Bishop’s chair, and the Bishop’s Door. Two 20-foot-tall bronze doors designed by a world-renowned sculptor replace the Crystal Cathedral’s original glass doors.
- Erecting a large cross called a crux gemmata. Crafted in Omaha, Nebraska from blackened steel and transported to Orange County in four separate pieces, the crux gemmata weighs 1,000 pounds, rises above the cathedral’s altar and hangs from the baldachin. Its design is typical of early medieval art, affixed with gems and the corpus of Christ.
- Placement of the altar, comprised from Italian stone and commemorated by the priests of the Diocese of Orange, under the crux gemmata.
- Installing 11,000 aluminum powder-coated plastic-and-fabric “quatrefoils” as window shades specially designed by Los Angeles-based architecture, planning and interior design firm Johnson Fain. Installed on the ceilings and walls, the quatrefoils deflect UV rays and heat while improving acoustics.
Included in the interior transformation is the world’s most famous and fifth-largest pipe organ. The Hazel Wright Organ was restored back to its original glory by Italian organ makers Fratelli Ruffatti of Padua, Italy. Installation is anticipated to be completed in 2020.
The dedication of Christ Cathedral is Wednesday, July 17, 2019 with public access to the Cathedral for Saturday evening and Sunday Masses and on Sunday afternoons following the dedication. Weekday access will begin in 2020. A special viewing will allow public access from 5 to 8 p.m. on dedication day.
Note to media:
Christ Cathedral’s dedication offers numerous angles for general interest and feature stories, including the property’s history, legacy and its importance in the community. We are available to provide comprehensive media kits, facilitate interviews and tours, and offer B-roll and spectacular photography opportunities.
For more information, visit dedication.rcbo.org or email Communications Director Tracey Kincaid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Media interviews can be arranged in advance as requested.
- No TV cameras will be allowed into the Cathedral on dedication day, July 17. Media will be provided with a live feed in HD-SDI with embedded audio.
- All media representatives will need media passes for dedication-week events.
pastoral center: communications department
13280 chapman avenue, garden grove, ca 92840