Spare the Crystal

Count me as not a fan of Bishop Brown’s plan to acquire the Crystal Cathedral. Jimmy Mac sent me an email with a tagline like “second collection for air conditioning.” I would love to see the plans for adapting this building for Catholic worship. But I’m strictly a wood and stone man when it comes to churches. Glass is nice for windows and vessels, but not walls and a roof.

I hear the acoustics are horrific in the new acquisition, too. According to this piece, it wasn’t 13 years before the Crystal Cathedral was on its third sound system.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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6 Responses to Spare the Crystal

  1. Liam says:

    A dreadful space for Catholic worship: the acoustics are exactly what I’d expect from this kind of design.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    Schuller packed them in and had a large choir. Somehow they made it work. Maybe it’ll be a typical Catholic parish with insipid preaching, an insipid choir and even more insipid congregational singing. You don’t need good acoustics for that.

  3. Jason says:

    Ya…would’ve been better to spend $300 million on a brand new cathedral.

    No, I don’t really think that. Given the current economic climate and the money spent to settle lawsuits, I think Bishop Brown made a responsible decision to follow the advice of his lay counsellors and make this purchase.

    As for air con, the design itself regulates the temperature–there’s no need for a/c, and central heating was only installed within the last decade or so, and it’s only used a few times during the winter. You can find info on how the design regulates inside temps on the interwebs.

    Remember, this is Orange County CA, there are neither extremes of heat nor cold.

  4. Jason says:

    Also, I’m really hoping the dedicate the cathedral to St. Luke the Evangelist, patron of glass workers.

  5. TF/KLS/JMac
    Count this Californian okay widdit. I’ve been to the space, not during worship, and it has a tabula rasa sort of vibe for me. Whether one thinks that a plus or minus…?
    Acoustically, it is no worse or better than LA or SF, IMO. Oakland’s interior is superior. Exterior? Schuller’s ediface presents to these eyes much more innovation and inspiration than the other three I’ve mentioned, particularly Our Lady of Maytag and the Cathedral of St. Al Davis.(And that hurts!)
    Two things: Stewardship of finances in this? Definite plus.
    Secondly, unless you have an unlimited budget and Duncan Stroik, find me an architect, project engineer and a city’s building code official who would be unshackled to build a classic, soaring cathedral in all respects.
    This is 2011. We’re in digital land.
    I think people ought to look at these situations realistically before posting their sentiments. I’d hoped to chant in a Byzantine-style space this last August some seven years ago after Stroik and six other architect designers presented plans.
    What we’re singing in its stead? Another fabricated box with low ceilings and all the ambience of a Holiday Inn Ballroom.

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