So I have long asked myself, as many of you have:
How on Earth does a Jewish, organized crime figure, and Casino owner end up developing a Catholic Church on the Las Vegas Strip? Certainly not for him or his family? Turns out it was for his employees, so their place of worship was close to their place of employment. Thats the reason given and Im not one to argue with the likes of Moe Dalitz. (If you need a lesson on Mr. Dalitz, you tube it).
Moe Dalitz was approached by Rev. Richard Crowley in 1961 about the idea and donated some land that he owned close to The Desert Inn, and across the Street from The Stardust. Then he contacted Paul R. Williams, architect to the stars and designer of the famous La Concha Motel (which is now used as the entrance and lobby to the Neon Museum). The rest as the say is HISTORY.
The A framed Church still sits on the original location but has since changed its name (slightly)
The Guardian Angel Shrine was the original structure and name, opened in October 1963. In 1977 the Diocese of Reno/Las Vegas re-designated the shrine a Cathedral. Getting a little run down in the early 90's the Cathedral was renovated and brought back to life for a cool $1.3 million in 1993.
At the base of the tall cross in the front of the Cathedral is a statue of the Holy family and above the entrance is a huge mosaic mural containing three men said to represent Peace, Penance and Prayer. This was painted by Los Angeles artist Edith Piczek, her sister and fellow artist, Isabel, created the beautiful stained glass windows through out the Cathedral. Guardian Angel Cathedral holds up to 1,100 people and they still hold mass twice daily, Saturday Vigils and Sunday Masses through the entire day.
Click HERE for their website and more info.
The Cathedral also acts as a popular tourist stop for Vegas visitors and has a large gift shop if you are interested in a religious or just plain historical souvenir. Hours are from 7a-3p weekdays, Saturday 1:30p-7p and Sunday 7am-6p. The Guardian Angel Cathedral is not hard to find. The actual address is 302 Cathedral Way and its located right next to Encore just off Las Vegas Blvd.