This is another place that I’ve passed many, many times and yet have never visited. I finally went to take some photos, and I was so glad I did.
Seen from the street, the cathedral is oddly modernistic, and so it’s beauty and impressiveness isn’t really evident until you walk on to the grounds. Not surprisingly, I found that it was opened in September 2002, and there was a great deal of controversy over its deconstructivist design. The modern day structure, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, replaced the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, which was damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Today, it is a Roman Catholic Church and serves as the mother church for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Here’s the view from the outside:
Essentially, it’s a huge hall, and the interior shows off a vast, but calming space.
On each side are beautiful tapestries created by the artist John Nava.
At the front, you can see the cathedra (the seat of the bishop), the sanctuary to the rear, ambo (a type of pulpit), the altar just behind the steps, and of course the grand organ in the corner.
Just outside the north exit, there’s a shrine, and the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts stands in the background.
At night, the view on the Cortines School is quite beautiful.
Also, there’s a sculpture garden with lots of animal figures to check out.
If you’re there in the evening, there’s a great view of the grounds, the cathedral, the fountain and the Visual and Performing Arts school in the background.
The Cathedral is located at 555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012-2707. There is parking in the building with entrances on Hill and Temple Streets. If you attend Mass on Sundays, there is free parking validation for 3 hours. I parked on Hill Street over the 101 and walked over.