Installation of Domes at Saint Lawrence
Beatifying the Felton Vista
After discovering leaks in the existing wooden cupola, Saint Lawrence church downtown Felton fixed the problem and beautified the local view at the same time. With help from Architectural Fiberglass (Cleveland, OH), the failing wooden structure was replaced with lighter, non-structural, decorative fiberglass cupolas. The fiberglass protects the structural integrity of a historic building while making the view from around town more enjoyable and inspiring.
Along with the downtown Santa Cruz clock tower, the Beach Boardwalk’s casino-arcade, domes and steeples of many shapes and sizes are a common, but often overlooked, local architectural feature. From the historic Santa Cruz mission and Holy Cross church to the Taungpulu Buddhist monastery in Boulder Creek, a host of dome and steeple-like architectural wonders quietly decorate Santa Cruz County.
On Orthodox churches specifically, domes date from the 5th century and the most famous Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was built around 534AD in Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey); at the time being the largest interior space in the world. From the beginning, church domes were designed aesthetically to raise the eyes and inspire meditation on higher things. Over the past 1500 years, Orthodox domes have taken on many different shapes and details, from the onion shape most common in Russia to the low wide domes of byzantine Greece.
In Santa Cruz and the San Lorenzo Valley, domes and crosses have been a distinct part of the evolving landscape over 30 years. In 1989, Saint Peter & Paul church, Ben Lomond, undertook a major remodel that included the raising of a very large gold dome. And the historic Holy Cross church downtown Santa Cruz in 1992, after triumphing over much political resistance, installed a new steeple after the original toppled in the 1989 earthquake. And just this year, Prophet Elias church, also downtown Santa Cruz, installed four large, gold crosses.