On my way to Ryman Arts’ The Big Draw LA event, I learned that one of the two inexpensive parking lots happened to be at the site of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which is about a city block-and-a-half away from Grand Park. Upon exiting the parking garage, I quickly made a mental note to come back to the Cathedral after the Grand Park event because I remembered visiting the Rafael Moneo-designed building back in 2003, the year after the Cathedral first opened, and remembered marveling at the natural light that the building’s glass windows provided.
When the family and I returned to the Cathedral grounds, we took a moment to admire these two water features and the modern outdoor floor design.
As we approached the building to admire the postmodern architectural style of the Cathedral, my children noticed the statue of a gentleman standing atop of what seemed like a moon.
“Who is that, Mommy?”
“Hmm, I don’t know.”
Note to the Reader: the Cathedral grounds were close to being empty by the time we visited on an early Sunday evening, so I had no way of inquiring to anyone to whom the statue embodied. I was also unable to find any pamphlets about the artwork for the Cathedral visitor once we entered the building. I did find out from the Cathedral’s readily available weekly Newsletter that freely led Docent Tours are offered to visitors during the week, so I’ll make a point to update this blog post after I attend one of these Docent Tours.
Ah, this is what I remembered… the beautiful natural light juxtaposed with the sharp-angled corners of this postmodern Cathedral.
Beautiful prayer stations and what seemed to be public art rooms adorned the outer portion of the Cathedral hallways.
Many of the ornate artwork, however, seemed to be housed in the lower level of the Cathedral, at the St. Vibiana Masoleum. The crypt mausoleum features a number of stained glass windows that were originally installed in the former St. Vibiana’s Cathedral (the Los Angeles Cathedral that was damaged by the Northridge earthquake back in 1994).
Visiting the crypt mausoleum served as an impromptu learning opportunity for the children to learn about life and death, and how people’s memories are honored.
Family Dinnertime was fast approaching, so we quickly exited the Cathedral. On the way to the parking garage where our car was parked, we happened upon the Cathedral Gift Shop. Alas, it was almost closing time, so we were unable to spend quality time here. I did take a photo of this confusing message. Jesus, like germs, is everywhere? Hmm…
I subsequently learn that the Cathedral holds an organ recital performance every Wednesday afternoon. Like the Docent Tour, it is free an open to the public. The kids want to check out the organ performance with me, so we’ll be back again during the school holiday break to experience what I can only imagine will be a wonderful performance.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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