Thursday Doors – March 9, 2017

Well, this is not a real door but it plays the part of one at the Music Center Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. “Dance Door” is an ornamented life-size bronze door created by sculptor Robert Graham. He also created the bronze doors of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which I featured here not long ago. The “door,” which weighs approximately two tons, is hinged on a bronze frame and locked in an open position. Abstracted figures of dancers are cast in low relief on the door panels.

Our Lady of the Angels

Last week I took advantage of the fact that I had to be downtown to also visit and photograph a few of LA’s landmarks. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was one of them.

In 1996, renowned Spanish architect José Rafael Moneo was commissioned to design a new cathedral for Los Angeles to replace the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, severely damaged during the 1994 earthquake. The fact that the 5.6 acre site overlooked the Hollywood Freeway did not deter Moneo. Just as many European Cathedrals are built near rivers, Moneo considered the freeway as Los Angeles’ river of transportation, the connection of people to each other.

Using elements of postmodern architecture, the church and the Cathedral Center feature a series of acute and obtuse angles while avoiding right angles. The tapestries that adorn the cathedral walls were created by artist John Nava. This is the largest collection hanging in a Catholic place of worship in the United States. The “Communion of Saints” consists of females and males of all ages, races, occupations and vocations the world over. Saints from the Renaissance period are intermingled with people from the 1st century and the 20th century.

The cathedral was almost empty and very quiet when I visited. I wonder what it’s like to be there for mass when it’s filled to capacity, on Christmas, Easter, and other holidays.

365/Day 221

Union Station ~~

Los Angeles Union Station is the main railway station in Los Angeles, California and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. It was partially designed by John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson, who had also designed Los Angeles City Hall and other landmark Los Angeles buildings. The structure combines Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne style, with architectural details such as eight-pointed stars, and even elements of Dutch Colonial Revival architecture. The ceiling in the waiting room has the appearance of wood, but is actually made of steel. Attached to the main building to the south is the station restaurant designed by the famed Southwestern architect Mary Colter. (source: Wikipedia)