Crystal Cathedral Sold to Chapman University
Although it’s not yet official, Crystal Cathedral has named Chapman University as the preferred buyer of the iconic Orange County building. Under the plan, Chapman University will lease out space to the Crystal Cathedral congregants, with the long term plan having the congregation buy back its central buildings.
As you may remember, the Catholic diocese in the area had also put in a bid. Along the way, it was announced that Crystal Cathedral was no longer for sale, and then it came back on the table. Had the diocese been selected to purchase the facility, the congregation would have had to eventually move to a new venue, as the building would be revamped as the new cathedral for the Diocese of Orange. I suspect this arrangement was a major factor in why the diocese was not selected.
I have mixed feelings about the whole outcome. On one hand, I love Crystal Cathedral as a building, and I would’ve liked to see it end up in the hands of the diocese for that reason. But the longer I’ve thought about the church being used for Mass, the more uneasy it’s made me. Not all buildings are built for the majesty and solemnity of a Mass. Plus, I think it would’ve been a nightmare to redo properly. Either way, I’m glad it sounds like a solution has been found.