Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24 1996 12:00 a.m. MST

Cardinal Roger Mahony unveiled plans to build a new Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Los Angeles - adjacent to the Hollywood Freeway.

Mahony was joined Monday by city and county officials at a 5.8-acre parking lot where the cathedral will be built.The 2,000-seat Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels will replace St. Vibiana's as headquarters for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The 120-year-old St. Vibiana's was condemned after being damaged by the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The $60 million cathedral will have a capacity of about 100 more than St. Patrick's, the Roman Catholic cathedral in New York, Ma-ho-ny said. Perched atop a hill, it will boast a 120-foot-high bell tower.

An area adjacent to the 43,000-square-foot cathedral will include living areas for the archbishop and priests, a meeting center and a three-acre plaza.

"One of the purposes of the cathedral is to serve as an inspiration to people," Mahony said.

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan called the plans "a giant step forward in the renaissance of downtown Los Angeles."

Officials hope that construction can begin by June.

A dedication ceremony has been scheduled for Sept. 4, 2000, to coincide with the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels, archdiocese spokesman Gregory Coiro said.

Several members of the Catholic Workers Soup Kitchen gathered near the ceremony to protest the spending of $60 million on the cathedral.

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