Crystal Cathedral
12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove 92840 Route Planner
The Green Guide

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The inspiration for this star-shaped, glass-walled cathedral was born in the 1950s when evangelist Robert H. Schuller began preaching sermons at a local drive-in theater. In 1961 Schuller commissioned architect Richard Neutra, an Austrian-born practitioner of the International Style, to design the Garden Grove Community Church, a "drive-in church" with 1,400 parking spaces that enabled visitors to view the pulpit and participate in the service from their cars. Phillip Johnson conceived the present glass sanctuary (1980), which seats 3,000 and accommodates drive-in worshipers via a large video screen. The awe-inspiring spaciousness of the interior is achieved by the use of a lacelike framework of white steel trusses sheathed in more than 11,000 individual window panes. The adjacent Tower of Hope (1968), topped by a 236ft cross, was designed by Dion Neutra, son of Richard Neutra.


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