Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes to be dismantled and parts stored for future rebuild


RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (KABC) — The damage to the iconic Wayfarers Chapel due to land movement is extensive. The plan now is to take it apart or deconstruct it and store what can be salvaged.

The chapel’s board of directors is looking at about a dozen spots to rebuild.

“We are trying to figure out a way to acquire property that is stable in the area that has a similar view that we have here since the ocean view and the surroundings are a big part of what has made this jewel on the peninsula what it is,” said Wayfarer Chapel Executive Director Daniel Burchett.

On Thursday, the administrative office building was red-tagged by the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. Walk around the grounds and you can see what the land movement has done. The parking lot is significantly damaged, the stonework and walkway next to the 7-decade-old chapel are also damaged, however, the stone structure holding up the cross is still very much intact.

RELATED: 175 weddings and special events canceled after Wayfarers Chapel closure, officials say

The historic Wayfarers Chapel is expected to remain closed for at least two years as solutions are pursued to counter shifting land in the area.

The work to take apart the chapel will start soon.

“It may be within the next month or so that we would start deconstructing the chapel,” Burchett said.

Repairs continue to be made along Narcissa Drive, the road above the chapel, because of the land movement. The hillside continues to crack and crumble the structures on the chapel’s 3 1/2 acre site.

“We’ve stopped spending any money on repairs because until land movement stops it’s just a waste of money,” Burchett added.

When will the historic chapel reopen? Burchett says, with optimism, that it may be five years away.

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