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Wednesday 17 July 2024

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Wednesday 17 July 2024

automatic translation

    Goodbye to Lloyd Wright's Glass Church

    An iconic place for pop culture, teenagers in the 2000s will remember it for being the setting for weddings and funerals in the generational TV series The OC, is about to (temporarily) close its doors: the Wayfarers Chapel, the stunning Glass Church designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr., a historic landmark for an entire community, will be dismantled.

    A crumbling paradise

    Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, in the county of Los Angeles, on a cliff overlooking the ocean, the Glass Church, since its foundation in 1951, has attracted a large number of tourists, photographers and above all newlyweds (celebrity and otherwise), thanks to his architecture in perfect continuity with the landscape natural, between the green of the imposing sequoias and the blue of the Pacific waves. 

    But it is precisely the profound connection with the morphology of the territory that affects the fate of the Wayfarers Chapel. The high risk of landslides, aggravated by winter storms, led to the preparation of the dismantling and transfer of the structure in a suitable place from a geological point of view, still in the definition phase.

    Damage to the structure

    For more than fifty years, one slow and terrible landslide threatens the territory of the Glass Church and the chapel itself. The surrounding ground is moving about 23 inches per week, impacting several buildings and the nearby highway. In recent months there has also been a further acceleration of landslides.
    And the effects are particularly evident on the skeleton of the Wayfarers Chapel. The metal frame and ceiling walls suffered clear damage which caused them to twist and bend. Long cracks run across the floor and stones. And even the imposing glass panels are not in excellent health, presenting huge fractures.

    Looking for a new location for the Glass Church

    It will not be easy to find an equally breathtaking location for this sanctuary enclosed in the glass. Architect Lloyd Wright's masterful use of such material beautifully celebrated the beauty and the spirituality of the surrounding nature. The encounter between the landscape and the geometric patterns of the windows contributed to creating a continuously evolving visual experience, playing on the 'movement of the Sun' and the alternation of the seasons.
    The transparency of the glass, which welcomed and filtered the natural light of the Pacific coasts, also offered a space of serenity and transcendence, ideal for reflection, prayer and promises. 

    The hope is that the Glass Church can be resurrected soon in an equally evocative place and welcome travelers and lovers for new commitments of faith and love.

    Sources:,, ​​

    You may also be interested in: Family lexicon, this is how Parma embraces its former glass factory again
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