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Arboretum

The newly renovated temporary worship space for Christ Cathedral parish, offering Mass in English, Vietnamese and Spanish.

Known as a titan of mid-century modern architecture, Richard Neutra designed the Arboretum, a 22,288-square-foot structure built in 1962, to serve as the original sanctuary for the Rev. Robert Schuller’s congregation. Rev. Schuller would speak to up to 1,400 churchgoers inside the Arboretum, and walk outside on the balcony to address additional congregants parked in 500 cars, just as he used to do at the drive-in theatre where he first preached.

Because of the age and delicate state of the Arboretum, diocesan crews took it down to steel and dirt and conducted extensive renovations, including creation of an innovative and energy-efficient underground air conditioning system. Also completed were seismic strengthening, glass replacement, landscaping and other aesthetic renovations. Since every element was specifically designed by the original architect, the diocese studied archival records to ensure that every dimension and pane of glass matched original specifications. Completed in just six months, the Arboretum’s amazing renovation has won several awards. Currently used as a worship space by Christ Cathedral parishioners, it will function as their home church until the future Christ Cathedral is completed.

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