"Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels" Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Tip by gilescorey

  Interior Sanctuary
by gilescorey

"Controversial" It's in any article discussing the monstrosity know as The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels. On one hand, you have those put off by the building's exorbitant cost($300 Million). On the other, legions deriding the stark modernist design(Mexican architect Rafael Moneo). Yes, a $300 Million sanctuary just blocks from LA's infamous skid row does raise an eyebrow or two, and yes, the design is, in many ways, just plain ugly. But, let's examine: The Catholic Church spending a fortune on itself? Old news. That's just tradition at this point. Design: Well, the exterior's sandstone hue references California Missions, & the edifice's site, looming over the 101 FWY suggests the ancient cathedrals of Europe: looming over waterways & the path of man. But, it's the design's details that most succeed.

The main entrance is set to the side of the building, near the street: modest in comparison to the Cathedral's size. Another, on the opposite side of the facade. By eschewing a grand main entrance, the architect has created entryways devoid of spectacle, & therefore more embracing and equalizing of its worshippers. The interior continues this theme, with a sanctuary largely devoid of separate seating. In addition, the alignment of the pews is slightly askew of the building's walls, creating a sense of shared space by with no rigid lines. And, the tabernacle is a modest, low rising pedestal level with the worshippers insuring that the priest is part of the devotees, not a separate figure. Add to this tapestries depicting latin saints, a mission theme, a warm interior & you have to applaud - to some degree. By contrast you have to deride the streetside gates spurning pedestrian traffic, the tacky giftshop with Cathedral branded wine(!!), a patio restaurant, and, most offensive: $5 to light a candle?

So, see the third largest cathedral in the world...& judge for yourself.

Interesting pics and info here:

Address: 555 W. Temple St. Downtown 90012
Directions: Corner of Temple and Grand. Metro Red Line to "Civic Center"
Phone: 213-680-5200
Website: http://www.olacathedral.org

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2007
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