Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Unexpected Los Angeles Tourist Attraction #1 - The Crypts, Stained Glass Windows & Relics in the Basement Mausoleum of the Cathedral of Our Angels

With Downtown Los Angeles yet lacking the density of obvious tourist attractions to be found in the heart of cities such as San Francisco, New York, Paris or London - we need to create new experiences to be enjoyed not just by locals - but also tourists.  Bur we also need to re-look at currently... overlooked.... local attractions that have not gotten attention they deserve - particularly when they are physically  adjacent to an already well known attraction - such as the one pictured below

So while the  Rafael Moreno designed Roman Catholic Cathedral on Temple Street and its spectacular sancuary well known, one of the LA's most over-looked, both literally and figuratively, landmarks  the basement of the Cathedral, even though the New York Times wrote about it even before the building was finished.

Cathedral In Los Angeles Sets Premium On Its Crypts
Published: February 10, 2002A mausoleum beneath the nearly completed Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels may become one of the most prestigious final resting spots in the city.
The 1,300 crypts and 5,000 niches for cremated remains are expected to generate an endowment to pay for the cathedral's upkeep and operating expenses. The crypts will probably start at $50,000 each.
Perpetual residency beneath the Spanish marble floor is strictly by invitation and based on one's goodness and contribution to the community.
No other American cathedral has a full mausoleum in its basement. Plans call for the remains of five California bishops, now resting at Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, to be interred in the mausoleum at the downtown cathedral.
St. Vibiana, the patroness of the archdiocese of Los Angeles, who has been resting temporarily at Calvary, is also headed for the cathedral. She will have her own chapel adjacent to the mausoleum.

The cathedral, which is 333 feet long and will seat 2,600 people, and....
The rest of the story can be found here.   Among the features of the mausoleum are the tomb of St. Vibiana....

And many other relics, newly commissioned art works, the tombs of many of LA's earliest secular and religious leaders, the final resting place of  increasing numbers of more recent local notables -  including Gregory Peck... 
and numerous historical features removed from the old 1869 - 1876 Cathedral that still stands at 2nd and Main - including 16 stained glass windows done by the Judson Studios - who also did all the new stained glass windows.

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