San Francisco, CA
United States
1100 California Street, main floor lobby of the north tower Interfaith AIDS Memorial Chapel at Grace Cathedral since 1 December 1995
without names
San Francisco - Nob Hill: Grace Cathedral - Interfaith AIDS Memorial Chapel - Life of Christ
The Life of Christ, Keith Haring's last work completed two weeks before his death from AIDS in 1990, is a bronze and white gold altarpiece based on the traditional Russian religious icon. Unveiled on December 1, 1995, World AIDS Day, it is the centerpiece of Grace Cathedral's Interfaith AIDS Memorial Chapel. In the center of the triptych is the Christ child is held by a multi-armed figure, caught between tears and a radiant heart. Angels float and gyrate on the side panels. The crowd below is swept up in the emotion, reaching, moving and living.
Grace Cathedral, at 1100 California Street, was designed in French Gothic style by Lewis Parsons Hobart in 1964. The cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of California is descendant from the historic Grace Church, built in 1948 during the Gold Rush, and the imposing structure on the corner of California and Stockton that was destroyed in the fire following the 1906 earthquake. Construction began on the cathedral, which would take the name of the old church, on a ruined block donated by the San Francisco's Crocker family in 1928, but Depression halted work in 1933 with a half-finished nave. Construction briefly resumed and the Signing (North) Tower, was largely finished by 1941. The end of World War II brought about a renewed interest in completing Grace Cathedral and construction resumed under architects Weihe, Frick & Krause, in time for a November 20, 1964 consecration--36 years after groundbreaking.
Today the cathedral has become a pilgrimage center, famed for its replica of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, two labyrinths, varied stained glass windows,and medieval and contemporary furnishings, as well as its 44 bell carillon, three organs, and choirs.
San Francisco Landmark No. 170 (8/5/1984). Photo © wallyg flickr

8 September 2009
Wally Gobetz, Jersey City, NJ