Crean Tower is named for John and Donna Crean whose contributions helped fund its construction. When the tower was completed in 1990, the Los Angeles Times declared that the (formerly) Crystal Cathedral “can now be truly classified as an Orange County landmark.”
Designed by Philip Johnson, the 236-foot stainless-steel mirrored spire is over 18 stories tall and houses a magnificent 52 bell carillon. The Arvella Schuller carillon was named in honor of her 35 years of service in bringing beautiful music to the church. This remarkable collection of bells range from six inches to nearly six feet and were forged by the Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in the Netherlands. The entire carillon assembly weighs 42,000 pounds and was lifted into place on May 25, 1990, by two cranes working in tandem. The bells may be played manually from a room high inside the tower or from the consoles on the great cathedral organ.
Below the tower is the Mary Hood Prayer Chapel, named for the wife of the late Clifford E. Hood, former President of the United States Steel Corporation, who made the chapel possible with a gift of $1 million dollars. The chapel is a circular structure set with 33 solid, multi-colored marble cylindrical columns, representing Jesus’ 33 years of life, and 12 white columns representing the 12 apostles. A bronze plaque on the floor seals a prayer capsule located beneath the altar that contains 33,000 unopened prayers received from around the globe, representing future generations.