art, history, gardens

project Wayfarers Chapel

Wanderer, adventurer, vagabond, rambler… Wayfarers Chapel.

In Rancho Palos Verdes, on a grassy hillock overlooking the Pacific Ocean, there is a small chapel made of glass. The chapel is chic, and gentle and warm inside. It was first envisioned in the 1920s, by a member of the Swedenborgian Church (a Protestant Christian denomination, named for its 18th century founder, Emanuel Swedenborg, a scientist, philosopher and theologian), as a place where life’s wayfarers could stop to rest, meditate and give thanks to God.  

Pause for a moment, wayfarer,
on life’s journey.
Let these waters restore your
soul and nourish your
inner being.
— Quote on a wall of the chapel, 1984

The chapel came to its redwood and glass fruition in 1951. It was designed by Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s eldest son) who found that the teachings of the Swedenborgian church, their emphasis on the harmony between God’s natural world and the inner world of mind and spirit, matched his own design ethics.

When the trees that surround the Chapel grow up, they will become the framework...this is done to give the congregation protection in services and at the same time to create the sense of outer as well as inner space.
— Lloyd Wright

The chapel, grounds and visitor’s center are open daily from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. There are frequently weddings held in the chapel, so you may have to wait for an opportunity to go inside. Worry not. The breathtaking views of the surroundings and the little rose garden are more than enough to occupy your eyeballs and feed your gentle wayfarer soul.