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Wayfarers Chapel Is Coming Down

U.S.Wayfarers Chapel Is Coming Down

Perched among redwoods on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Wayfarers Chapel has served as a spiritual home in coastal Los Angeles County for nearly 75 years.

The glass chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes was a popular spot for weddings, and it attracted photographers for its architecture, sprawling ocean views and manicured lawns. But it was closed in February because of severe damage from a landslide that city officials attributed to recent winter storms.

Chapel leaders said this week that the chapel, a national historic landmark, would be disassembled and stored until a new site could be found.

“We’re all devastated,” the Rev. Dan Burchett, the chapel’s executive director, said in a news conference. “We’ve been working feverishly to do what we can to save the chapel. But the landslide is looming, and it’s a tragedy felt by many.”

Officials hope to rebuild the chapel in a safe, stable spot, either on its current campus or on another plot in the city, said the mayor of Ranchos Palos Verdes, John Cruikshank. The project to disassemble and eventually rebuild the chapel is expected to take four years.

I recently visited Wayfarers, walking under a canopy of redwoods and pines as crashing waves echoed in the distance. Stone walkways were cracked and broken. About 15 of the chapel’s glass panels were shattered, and several structural beams were on a precarious slant.

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