Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels | Los Angeles Wedding Venue
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 W Temple St Los Angeles, CA 90012
History of Our Lady of the Angels:
The Cathedral of Saint Vibiana had served as the cathedral of the Los Angeles see since its completion in 1876. Soon after its completion, the diocese noted it to be of inferior construction quality and also too small for Los Angeles’ rapidly growing population. In 1904, Bishop Thomas James Conaty gained permission from the Holy See to build a new cathedral to be named after Our Lady of Guadalupe and purchased a site on which to build the cathedral. However, an economic downturn in 1907 put a stop to the project; a Catholic parish church was later built on the site. In the 1940s, plans were drawn up for a new cathedral on Wilshire Boulevard that would seat 3,000 people, and in 1945 Archbishop John Joseph Cantwell announced that the Holy See approved the name “Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels”. That cathedral was never built, however, as Cantwell died in 1947 and his successor, James Francis McIntyre, decided that building churches and schools was a more pressing need for the archdiocese. McIntyre gained permission from donors to redirect money donated to Cantwell’s cathedral fund to fund construction of churches and schools.
The 1994 Northridge earthquake severely damaged the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, which led the archdiocese to close the cathedral due to safety concerns. In January 1995 the archdiocese announced plans to build a new cathedral on the Saint Vibiana site, plans which necessitated the demolition of the old cathedral. This led to a lengthy legal battle between the archdiocese and preservationists, who argued that the cathedral was a city landmark and that it should be either incorporated into the new cathedral or otherwise saved. The archdiocese contended that restoring the old cathedral would cost $18–20 million, an amount that it contends no one would donate.
This legal battle prompted the archdiocese to look to build the cathedral on a new site. In December 1996, the archdiocese announced it was purchasing a 5.6-acre (2.3 ha) site between Temple Street and the Hollywood Freeway from Los Angeles County at a cost of $10.85 million.The archdiocese chose to retain the “Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels” name approved by the Vatican in the 1940s. The initially proposed budget for the project was $150 million, but as the charities and donations kept coming, the architects and builders were able to implement everything desired. The construction was supervised by Father Richard S. Vosko, a liturgical design consultant and priest of the Diocese of Albany who has overseen the design and renovation of numerous churches and cathedrals around the country. Construction began in 1998 and the cathedral was opened in September 2002 at the final cost of $189.7 million. Meanwhile, the old cathedral was eventually restored by developers Tom Gilmore and Richard Weintraub, who spent around $6 million converting it into an events center and performance venue.