Wayfarers Chapel, sometimes referred to as the "The Glass Church" is located in Rancho Palos Verdes, roughly 45 minutes from Los Angeles. From the pictures above, you can probably understand why it's known for its unique modern architecture and picturesque location, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I first heard of Wayfarers Chapel on a "Hidden Gems in Los Angeles" list online, and I immediately added it to my LA Bucketlist. As a newbie photographer, I have become more and more interested in architecture, natural lighting, and beautiful spaces that photograph well. And to my luck, Wayfarers Chapel was more beautiful in person than I hoped it would be, and it photographed extremely well. My boyfriend and I visited this spot last Fall (although I forgot to add it to my blog until 6 months later - oops!) and both were pretty amazed at the design of it. I had never before seen a piece of architecture structured quite like this, and we were both pleasantly surprised to find the chapel empty upon arriving. Not only did this make for better pictures of the inside, but we also wouldn't want to impose on anyone's space while I was snapping pictures.
According to the Wayfarers Chapel website, Lloyd Wright, son of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, designed Wayfarers Chapel as a “tree chapel, a natural sanctuary set in the midst of a forest." He states, "I wanted particularly to allow those trees and those trunks to be seen and the space beyond and into infinity to be observed, so those who sat in the sanctuary would perceive the grandeur of space out beyond and around them.” The website also shares this about his inspiration, "Lloyd Wright’s inspiration came on a trip through the redwood forests of northern California shortly following the end of World War II. He stopped at a little restaurant surrounded by trees. During lunch he looked up through a skylight and saw the magnificent redwoods rising up on the sides and branches arching overhead like a great natural cathedral. So impressed with the sight he vowed that if he ever received a commission for a church this would be his inspiration." The church was built in 1951 and still stands beautifully almost 70 years later.
The grounds surrounding the chapel are also gorgeous and very well taken care of. You'll see a variety of Redwood trees, pine trees, flowers, roses, large lawn spaces, and benches. There were a few visitors lounging around and enjoying the peace and quiet of this place, taking pictures of the views, and there was even a couple scouting out this spot as a potential wedding venue. What a beautiful venue this would make for a wedding! Overall, this chapel is a one-of-a-kind work of abstract and asymmetrical art, with huge glass windows, incredible natural light, and is located in a lush oasis with a beautiful view. I'm hoping that description is enough to make you want to plan your own visit :) - I'd highly recommend this place to both locals and visitors alike.
It's FREE to visit Wayfarers Chapel, and it's open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.. The Visitors Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Parking is also free, and there is a lot right next to the Chapel. Clean restrooms are available in the Visitors Center. For more information on this special hidden gem, visit the Wayfarers Chapel website.
Wayfarers Chapel is located at 5755 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275.
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