The following appeared last week on the Diocese of Orange website.

The Diocese of Orange acquired the former Crystal Cathedral and campus February 3, 2012, and today announced the start of refurbishing, preservation and renovation efforts of the storied Arboretum building on the Campus. Dedicated in 1961 and designed by Richard Neutra, the Arboretum was the original worship area for the Crystal Cathedral Ministries and will serve as the temporary home for the relocated St. Callistus parish beginning sometime in June 2013. General maintenance and other renovation efforts to the Cathedral building and campus have been underway since the Diocesan purchase was secured.

The renovation process will begin with the removal of approximately 30 donor recognition stones necessary to provide construction access for the installation of a state-of-the-art underflow air conditioning system. Consistent with the terms of its purchase agreement with Crystal Cathedral Ministries, the Diocese will make every effort to preserve each stone and has already begun to professionally photograph and digitally preserve each of the stones, plaques and statuary on the Campus. “It’s important that we honor the original donors’ intent and preserve their individual messages of faith. Unfortunately, with time and erosion – some of the stones are delicate and likely to break during the removal process. A plan to virtually preserve each of the stones will permit us to later display them online and otherwise keep alive the donors’ gift of faith,” said Rob Neal, interim Chief Operating Officer, Christ Catholic Cathedral Corporation.

The under floor air conditioning system is designed to not mar the Arboretum’s iconic design with any roof mounted mechanical or ventilation structures. Other improvements include the construction of elective seismic upgrades, retro-fitting the large glass curtain walls for energy efficiency and specific liturgical modifications needed before the site may be used as a Catholic place of worship.

Since acquiring the campus, the Diocese has already implemented many maintenance projects ranging from water intrusion tests which resulted in caulking over 500 of the 1,500 glass panels tested. The Cathedral has 10,661 window panes. Additionally, repair and restoration of the Memorial Gardens’ exquisite water feature has returned that beautiful fountain to its former glory.

Interior work on the Crystal Cathedral itself is slated to begin later this year – a process that will be completed when the structure is consecrated as Christ Cathedral sometime in mid-2015….

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