March 5, 2009

Dedication weekend at Thomas Aquinas College

I leave this evening to fly to Los Angeles enroute to the dedication of the new chapel at my Alma Mater, Thomas Aquinas College. After ten years of planning and construction - I recall fondly the drawings for the three proposals - the dreams of many alumni and faculty and staff are coming true. Here is a little article explaining a little of the history of the Chapel and all of the events that will going on this weekend.

Photo by EventH on Flickr

I will be taking photos of the chapel in all its new glory, which I shall post Monday or Tuesday upon my return to Washington. I leave you with some recent photos of the interior, and with this thought: This chapel cost $23 million to complete, whereas Our Lady of the Angels, the Catholic Cathedral of Los Angeles, cost $190 million.

Photo by EventH on Flickr

I will do some work on factoring the different sizes and other cost adjustments, but I suspect that the TAC chapel still comes in at least equal, if not less than the Cathedral. Some may say "we just can't build this way any more," but borrowing from the President's campaign slogan, yes we can, and yes we did.


Anonymous said...

I thought it was a renovated church from the photos before reading the post. It is absolutey beautiful, and I love the early Renaisance feel of the whole. The detail, light, and color are impeccable. It's truly something to aspire to.

Athelstane said...

Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. posted the following number crunching on TAC's chapel versus the Taj Mahony over at New Liturgical Movement:

The chapel's full capacity is 650 (with extra aisle seating as at the dedication). At $23 million to build that comes to $34,380 a worshiper. The permanent seating is 350, which would be $65,720 per worshiper.

The Oakland Cathedral, with a capacity of 1500 cost ca. $190 millon. This comes to a cost of $126,660 per worshiper.

The LA Cathedral, with a seating capacity of 3000 cost ca. $200 millon in pre-2002 dollars--today that would be about $235 million. And so that cost was $117,500 per worshiper.

The St. Thomas Chapel looks like a bargain.

Indeed it does.

P.S. I tend to agree this is the best church I've seen built of late, although it is not alone. Stroik's own Guadalupe Shrine in La Crosse is not far behind. The new chapel at the FSSP's seminary and the church at Clear Creek Monastery (both designed by Thomas Gordon Smith, also from Notre Dame) also bode well for the future of traditional Catholic architecture.

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