Directions from Gate 1
Drive past the information booth; at the top of the hill, turn left behind the chapel. Parking is on the left.
SkyRose Chapel: A California Landmark
SkyRose Chapel is more than a building. It’s an experience that’s difficult to capture in words. From the hilltop location with a dramatic view of downtown Los Angeles to the soaring 70-foot clear cathedral ceiling and custom Quimby pipe organ, Los Angeles’ most distinctive funeral chapel evokes awe and inspires reflection. By day, it's an architectural beacon cutting a precise figure against the California sky. By night, it's a luminous testament to exquisite design and imagination.
Architect E. Fay Jones, a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, along with partner Maurice Jennings, designed the award-winning space to “nourish and express that all-important intangible of the human condition at its spiritual best.” Step into the chapel and it’s easy to see—and feel—how it does exactly that.
Created as a statement of devotion and a gift to Whittier the San Gabriel Valley and the Greater Los Angeles community, SkyRose Chapel was dedicated in 1997, after six years of careful research, design and construction. It hosts more than 1,000 memorial services and numerous public events annually.
A breathtaking sanctuary
Enter 12-foot doors into an ethereal nave. Pass through a narrowed entrance over Kentucky blue stone flooring into the breathtaking sanctuary clad in white oak. Exposed structural elements draw the eye high. A sweeping view of the valley below amplifies the openness of the space and creates harmony between the building and its natural surroundings. Thoughtfully designed and meticulously constructed from wood, stone, metal and glass, the impressive structure manages to be both organic and Gothic at once. During the day, natural light warms the space. After sunset, Jones' and Jennings' skillful lighting design creates an ethereal glow inside and out.
The chapel is a universal space created for people of all cultures and traditions. It comprises three levels: an 11,200-square-foot below-ground mausoleum, a sanctuary that seats up to 350, and a triforium gallery that wraps around the interior and provides overflow standing room. The area at the front of the chapel is spacious enough to accommodate, as well as performances by small dance teams, orchestras and choirs.
Quimby pipe organ
With 3,937 pipes ranging from 4 inches to 32 feet long, the Quimby pipe organ is a wonder. Housed at the gallery level, it adds texture and dimension to the space. Musically, it combines the sounds of the tuba, French horn, English horn and basset horn with those of chimes and harps. Jones and Jennings considered the organ in their building designs, using science and engineering to ensure that the instrument's sound is exalted. The architects were also consulted on the display pipe pedistals.
The chapel's lower level holds a large underground mausoleum with corridors named after the types of wood used in the chapel's construction. Fay Jones' first mausoleum, it holds 1,000 crypts, a private sarcophagus and high-end cremation niches.
A notable Los Angeles location
So striking is the totality of the design, that the chapel has occasionally served as a Hollywood set. Star Trek fans will recognize it from several scenes in Vulcan. Likewise, viewers of HBO’s True Blood have seen it as headquarters for the Fellowship of the Sun. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys once played the pipe organ here. James Taylor has sung in the chapel.
Throughout the year, Rose Hills holdsfor various groups at SkyRose Chapel. Among them are the evening Candlelight Celebration of Life each December, the Double Ninth Festival Memorial Chanting in October and the Ching Ming Amitabha Sutra Service in April. Other events include a Memorial Day celebration, an annual memorial for members of the Buddhist community, a Vu Lan (Vietnamese) Chanting Service and the Young Nak Memorial Service and many other public events at SkyRose Chapel are free.
We welcome all requests for tours and would be delighted to show you this magnificent space.
To plan a funeral, memorial or other event at SkyRose Chapel in Whittier, please.
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