Southland Architecture
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Basic Information
Designed by José Rafael Moneo
Cost $189,700,000
Type Holy Place
Floors: 11
Maximum length 333 feet/100 meters
Neighborhood: Downtown Los Angeles
More Information
  • Site: 5.6 acres
  • Floor space: 65,000 square feet
  • Cathedral capacity: 3,000 people
  • Weight: 151,000,000 pounds
  • Design lifespan: 500 years
  • Carillon bells: 36
  • Mausoleum capacity: 6,300 (1,300 crypts, 5,000 niches)
  • Alabaster windows: 30,000 square feet
  • Pipe organ pipes: 6,019
  • Architect: José Rafael Moneo
  • Architect: Leo A. Daly
  • Gateway Pool and Water Wall designer: Lita Albuquerque.
  • Shrine designer: Lalo Garcia
  • Bronze doors sculptor: Robert Graham
  • Tapestries by: John Nava
  • Native American Memorial designer: Johnny Bear Contreras
  • Instead of stained glass windows, the cathedral has alabaster windows covered in glass.
  • The cathedral has almost no 90° angles.
  • All of the plant species chosen for the landscaping have important religious or Biblical significance.
  • The votive candle holders are decorated with Aztec religious symbols.
  • Althought it appears the cathedral is faced with rows of panels, the building is actually poured concrete that has been textured to make it appear otherwise.
  • The building gets its adobe color from gold colored sand mixed with white concrete.
  • The cathedral doors are carved with a number of animals depicting various symbols of spirituality around the world. People have taken to touching and even kissing the animals as they enter.
  • The statue above the cathedral doors is eight feet tall.
  • The altar is made of Turkish marble and weighs six tons.
  • The pews are made of cherry wood.
  • The sanctuary contains 25 tapestries made from Egyptian cotton in Belgium and show 135 prominent church figures.
  • This was formerly the location of a surface parking lot. The Archdiocese bought it from Los Angeles County for $10,800,000.
  • Among those who made donations to help build the cathedral were Betsy Bloomingdale, billionaire Eli Broad, Roy Disney, Merv Griffin, Bob Hope, and Rupert Murdoch, and former mayor Richard J. Riordan.
  • It is often stated that this was the first new cathedral built in the United States for 40 years. This is incorrect. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe opened in Dodge City, Kansas December 9, 2001 -- less than a year before {HumanName}.
  • 1994: Saint Vibiana's Cathedral is damaged by the Northridge Earthquake
  • 1996: The city of Los Angeles condemns Saint Vibiiana's Cathedral.
  • September 21, 1997: Ground blessing ceremony
  • May, 1999: Construction begins.
  • Spring, 2002: Construction is completed.
  • September 2, 2002: The cathedral is consecrated.