Presbyterian Cross

I’m not sure how this commission came to me, but it posed a unique combination of challenges involving both building technique and overall mindset. When working alone and needing to move or turn over a nine foot tall cross on the bench, it’s hard not to reflect on the historical weight that it carries. One tends to edit one’s language and reflect on higher thoughts.


Client: St. Stevens Presbyterian Church, Chatsworth, California
Date: 1990



These photos were taken recently, some twenty-eight years after the cross was installed and just after Palm Sunday, so the palm fronds were still in place from their Sunday services.



The blueprint that arrived from the architects hired by the church called for a “removable” cross that would fit into a hole or socket in the raised floor of the sanctuary, behind the altar. The core of the cross was made of poplar with an outer veneer of half-inch red oak. The finish was to match a sample provided by the client.