Posted by: Jerry Garrett | September 18, 2015

No, This Isn’t The Church in 1960’s “Oceans 11”, But…

Guardian Angel Cathedral (Jerry Garrett Photo)

Guardian Angel Cathedral (Jerry Garrett Photo)

LAS VEGAS

Originally I became interested in the Guardian Angel Cathedral here on the Las Vegas Strip, because I thought it was the one depicted in the final scenes of the 1960 version of “Oceans 11“.

It is not.

This church wasn’t built until 1963. But…

I was onto something. The Guardian Angel church, ironically just a long city block from the old Sands hotel in front of which the movie ends, did have a connection to Frank Sinatra and show business. The cathedral was designed by Paul Revere Williams, a noted Negro* architect who designed homes for Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Barbara Stanwyck and other celebrities and famous people! Williams was quite a trailblazer for his time.

(GACLV.org)

(GACLV.org)

The series of stained glass windows, a fabulous sight to see also, were designed by Edith and Isabel Piczek, Hungarian refugees who became world-renowned artists.

“The art work seen here is the kind of art which does not want to exist for its own sake,” the sisters said.  “It wants to draw you into a passionately and deeply inner existence, step by step, from the dark original creation into the monumentally recreated world of Man’s Super nature. The Destiny of Man is to unfold in front of your eyes, an unfolding which ends in Happiness-your happiness.  The real artwork is not made from glass, paint or tile.”

The sisters, who did this work when they were in their 20, are still alive (I believe) and living in the L.A. area. Williams, also from SoCal, died in 1980 at age 86.

This is a unique and lovely cathedral, nestled between the Wynn-Encore and the Riviera hotels in a tacky section of the Las Vegas Strip.

The church and its grounds create this peaceful oasis in the middle of all the schlock. Beautiful!

But this leaves my original question unanswered: What was that church at the end of “Oceans 11”? Anyone know?

Jerry Garrett

September 18, 2015

* This is how he referred to himself.

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Responses

  1. I love your posts. Thank you! Jeff Cloninger, Palm Beach, Florida

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Thank you for the kind words. I need to get off my duff and find more things to write about!


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