Modernism for the Masses: Richard Neutra’s Drive-In Church

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Modernism for the Masses: Richard Neutra’s Drive-In Church

January 31, 2015 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Docomomo US and Docomomo US/SoCal will co-host a celebration and tour of Richard Neutra’s recently restored Arboretum and Tower of Hope on the Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove.

Join Docomomo US and Docomomo US/SoCal on Saturday, January 31st from 1:00 – 4:00 PM for a special afternoon architecture tour, lecture, and reception at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. The focus of the event will be Richard Neutra’s 1961 Arboretum and 1968 Tower of Hope, both recently and meticulously restored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. Restoration of the Arboretum won a Docomomo US Modernism in America Award Citation of Merit in 2014. Guests will have the opportunity to see the Arboretum as well as get an exclusive first look at Neutra’s Tower of Hope, the restoration of which was just completed in late 2014. The event will also include the opportunity to hear more about the Diocese’s plan for Philip Johnson’s impossibly beautiful Crystal Cathedral (1980), which is currently under construction. The day’s speakers will include Barbara Lamprecht, author, architect, and historian, Daniel Paul, architectural historian, Rob Neal, member of the Architecture and Renovation Committee for Christ Cathedral and Liz Waytkus, Executive Director of Docomomo US. Tours of all three spaces will run concurrently and guests will enjoy a late afternoon wine and cheese reception with friends in Richard Meier’s Welcoming Center (2003).

Tickets for the architecture tour, lecture, and reception are $25 for Docomomo US members and $30 for non-members. Limited quantities of the Michael Murphy designed poster and postcards will be available exclusively the day of the event. Details and tickets

Christ Cathedral
What is today known as Christ Cathedral was founded in 1955 by Robert H. Schuller as the Garden Grove Community Church. Schuller and his wife Arvella held their first services in space rented from the Orange Drive-In Theatre. In 1960 he selected preeminent modern architect Richard Neutra to build a new sanctuary, which had the flexibility of both indoor and outdoor congregation: Schuller could preach from an exterior, cantilevered pulpit to a congregation sitting in their cars. In 1968, he brought Neutra back to complete the Tower of Hope, which provided classrooms, office space and the first 24/7 suicide prevention hotline, New Hope Ministries, for which the tower is named. As the congregation continued to grow, Schuller envisioned an expanded facility with a new, enormous sanctuary made entirely of glass. In 1977 he hired Philip Johnson to fulfill this vision, which resulted in the Crystal Cathedral (1980) – the largest glass building in the world. In a long tradition of hiring the world’s best architects, Schuller hired Richard Meier to design the campus’s Welcoming Center (also known as the Hospitality and Visitors Center) in 2003, now renamed the Cathedral Cultural Center.

In 2011, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange purchased the Crystal Cathedral campus for use as its diocesan cathedral. Now known as Christ Cathedral, masses are held on campus daily for thousands of parishioners.

Docomomo US
Docomomo US is the only national organization devoted exclusively to the preservation, understanding and celebration of Modern architecture and modernist design. It is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization and includes of a union of 17 regional chapters and 5 friend organizations that share its members’ knowledge of and enthusiasm for Modern architecture and modernist design. Docomomo US was founded in the United States in 1995 and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015.

Docomomo US/SoCal
Docomomo US/SoCal is the Southern California Chapter of Docomomo US, with a geographic scope that includes the entirety of the southland: from Santa Barbara to the US border with Mexico. Founded in 2013, Docomomo US/SoCal’s mission is to increase awareness and celebrate the unique legacy of Southern California’s Modern Movement and its influences through education, documentation, and advocacy.


January 31, 2015
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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Christ Cathedral
13280 Chapman Ave
Garden Grove, NY United States
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