Cathedral building will close December 1st and reopen for its formal dedication as a Catholic Cathedral in 2016
The Christ Catholic Cathedral Corporation (CCCC), the independent organization charged with managing and maintaining the 34 acre cathedral campus, has made incredible progress renovating, restoring and transforming the Christ Cathedral campus into a magnificent center of faith and culture since taking full possession of the campus and its facilities in July of this year. The renovation and transformative process for the campus has reached a momentous point where work on the cathedral building itself will begin. The 75,397 square foot edifice, with more than 10,000 panes of mirrored glass will close to public access on December 1, 2013 as a $29 million renovation of the interior transforms the building into a space that supports Catholic worship and liturgy.
Already the Arboretum, the original worship space of the former Crystal Cathedral Ministries, has been renovated and restored to its original luster, the Diocese of Orange Pastoral Center and Christ Cathedral Academy have been renovated and greatly improved, and the 34 acres of the campus are lush and green. The Tower of Hope will also begin its renovation in December as the work on the Christ Cathedral begins.
“The beauty and inspiration evoked by the cathedral grounds and its architecture are only surpassed by the extraordinary communities of faith that now call this campus home. We are blessed as a diocese to have the opportunity to create a center for our more than 1.2 million faithful and a place that welcomes all to experience the love of Christ,” said the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange.
At the eighth annual Orange County Catholic Prayer breakfast on September 19, 2013 Bishop Vann announced the selection of two architectural firms to collaborate on the renovation and development of the cathedral structure and its surrounding grounds – Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios. The consultative design process for the Christ Cathedral and its grounds are now well underway and the Diocese and CCCC are pleased with the progress made.
The CCCC and the architectural firms leading this effort have reached a point where the cathedral must be closed on December 1st to pedestrian traffic to allow the renovation to begin. The first step in the process will be the disassembly of the Hazel Wright Pipe Organ, the fourth largest Pipe Organ in the world. This instrument will itself be renovated and reconditioned in the workshops of Fratelli Ruffatti in Padua, Italy and reinstalled at the completion of the transformation.
“This is an exciting time in the history of our diocese as we transform our new home and look toward a hopeful future. The day the Christ Cathedral is dedicated and becomes our center it will attract the devout and the distant, across languages and cultures, politics and lifestyles. The cathedral will be an international center of faith and evangelization, a vessel for the love of God, a beacon of faith, a home for neighbor and traveler, and a sanctuary for the human spirit,” said Bishop Vann.
About the Christ Cahtedral
In the late 1970s, legendary American architect Philip Johnson and his partner John Burgee presented their designs for an “all-glass church” to Reverend Robert Schuller. Upon seeing the plans, Reverend Schuller exclaimed, “Wow, it looks like a Crystal Cathedral!” The building was a massive undertaking, taking over two years to complete. Standing 120 feet tall (12 stories), 141 feet long and 207 feet wide, this 78,397 square foot edifice is constructed entirely of glass and steel. With more than 10,000 panes of mirrored glass, the cathedral structure is known the world over for its inspiring beauty and breathtaking scale. The main sanctuary seats nearly 3,000 people and will become a spiritual home to Orange County’s more than 1.2 million Catholics. The cathedral will close for an extensive $29 million renovation to remake the space as a place of Catholic worship and will reopen after its formal dedication in 2016.