Emily and Brenden's Worldwide Volunteering Adventure travel blog

We found some red rocks!

Chuch of the Holy Cross

Church of the Holy Cross - 2

The first CA sunset

From http://www.visitsedona.com


Perched on a spur of red rock two hundred feet above the desert floor is an architectural and engineering marvel. A cross, which seems to support the structure, soars from its craggy base and catches the eye of all who drive the magnificent scenic route into Sedona.

The site was selected by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who had held her vision of building a contemporary monument to God for almost 30 years. In 1932, as she was leaving St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, she was struck by the beauty and simplicity of Rockefeller Center and wondered, "Why Gothic when 'modern Gothic' sings so loudly today?" She noticed the cross-like forms in the Empire State Building then under construction, and began making models for a cathedral she hoped to construct.

A noted sculptor, painter and jewelry designer--as well as an art collector--she saw art as "the search for the spiritual side of the universe." Her dream of building a cathedral was originally developed with Lloyd Wright, son of the famous architect. It was to encompass a city block of Los Angeles but met with opposition from the Church. This futuristic structure was then scheduled to be built in Budapest, but the outbreak of World War II shelved Marguerite's plans for another 25 years.

When she and her husband moved to Sedona in 1950, they were inspired by the towering rock formations and decided to scale the dream to suit the environs. With San Francisco architects Anshen & Allen, the idea for a starkly modern chapel took form. Forest land was procured with the aid of Senator Barry Goldwater and construction was completed in 1956. Today, this innovative and stunningly beautiful shrine acts as a beacon to all passersby. The view through the glassed enclosure in the giant cross provides a wide vista of red rocks, including Cathedral Rock and the Madonna and Child formation which inspired Marguerite years ago.

Its doors are open daily year-round to "one and all, regardless of creed." All who visit are fascinated with the Stations of the Cross, fashioned from antique nails in modern design. Seventeenth century Madonnas mingle with contemporary sculptures, several by Marguerite herself, and there is a gift shop for browsing on the lower level.

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