Orange County Business Journal

Diocese Names Architects for Christ Cathedral Renovation

Jane Yu Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has named Rios Clemente Hale Studios and Johnson Fain, two Los Angeles-based architecture firms, to head the planned renovation of Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.

The announcement came from Bishop Kevin Vann Wednesday morning at the eighth annual Orange County Catholic Prayer Breakfast.

The firms will be working on the designs and development of the 34-acre campus, which was originally designed by Philip Johnson and built in 1980 as Crystal Cathedral for the Crystal Cathedral Ministries led by Reverend Robert Schuller.

The property was acquired by the Diocese of Orange early last year in a bankruptcy sale for $57.5 million. The diocese said it plans to spend $29 million on renovations, which are expected to be completed in 2015.

The main sanctuary, which seats 3,000, is expected to be “a spiritual home” to OC’s 1.2 million Catholics, the diocese said.

Vann oversaw the selection of the two design firms through the diocese’s Christ Cathedral Architectural and Renovation Committee, which considered a pool of 24 architectural firms.

Vann arrived in Orange County to head the diocese in December, following the retirement of Tod Brown, who spent nearly 50 years as priest, the last 14 as bishop.