Vibiana: Most Fashionable California Venue
The former Cathedral of St. Vibiana, located in downtown Los Angeles, has a very long and interesting history. One of L.A.’s few remaining nineteenth-century landmarks, St. Vibiana’s was completed in 1876 and the city’s first cathedral was an impressive example of architecture, designed by Ezra F. Kysor. The cathedral’s Italian Baroque façade was inspired by the Los Angeles bishop’s childhood church in Spain. Architect John C. Austin enlarged the structure in 1924 and created a new Main Street façade of Indiana limestone. St. Vibiana’s Cathedral was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1963.
In 1995, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced plans to demolish the church to make way for an all-new cathedral complex on the site. The Los Angeles Conservancy intervened and a long fight began to save St. Vibiana’s. Luckily, the Conservancy ultimately prevailed in both lawsuits, despite appeals from the Archdiocese and the City. The Archdiocese ultimately decommissioned and deconsecrated the cathedral, vacated the site, and built the new cathedral a few blocks away on Temple Street. The Conservancy pursued potential buyers for the property and in 1997 commissioned a study of options for its adaptive reuse.
In 1999, Vibiana was purchased by Tom Gilmore, a visionary who worked to revitalize downtown L.A.’s historic buildings. St. Vibiana’s rehabilitation began and the incredible building now known simply as Vibiana, is the darling of venues in Los Angeles, hosting some of the most fashion-forward weddings and receptions in the world, in addition to fashion shows, fundraising events and live entertainment. Feast your eyes on a few Vibiana events as shot by Callaway Gable Studios.