In an enlightening piece about how one can transform a glassed-in megachurch into a Catholic worship space, the Los Angeles Times has presented us with an update on the church formerly known as the Crystal Cathedral.
When the original was completed in 1980 at the cost of $18 million, its most singular feature was its 12,000 panes of rectangular glass. It was quite the landmark in Orange County for many years.
However, the congregation inside the famous church went bankrupt in 2010 and was bought by the Catholic Diocese of Orange for $57.5 million in early 2012. The church’s founder, Robert Schuller, died last year. The article picks up from there:
The Crystal Cathedral was for decades a powerful symbol of a certain kind of church.
The landmark church was built by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the famed pastor who brought the drive-in church to Orange County during the beginning of the postwar suburban boom and preached an upbeat, modern vision of Christianity.
The Philip Johnson-designed structure made of steel and more than 12,000 panes of glass became world famous and was a forerunner to other so-called mega churches.
But more than a year after Schuller’s death, the Crystal Cathedral is undergoing a major transformation in both design and ownership. The makeover will transform the building into Christ Cathedral as the Catholic Church takes it over.
After discussing upcoming tours of the place, the article continues:
Estimated costs for the cathedral are about $72 million, according to the Rev. Christopher Smith, rector and episcopal vicar of Christ Cathedral who is leading the design project.