#17 – The Easter Cross

Ok, so not that it’s as iconic as Brazil’s big symbol to Christianity, but, it does beg the question — what’s a gigantic cross doing in the middle of the hills of Redwood City? And why is it worth seeing?  You can’t climb it, heck, you can barely get near to it because of all the large antennas and a water tower surrounding the site (or,if you know anyone who went to high school in the 60s, 70s, or 80s, they’d tell you it was the sight where many people would ingest liquids or substances that might actually have caused them to see God….or at least make sometimes regrettable decisions).

Well, it reflects a bit on some history of Redwood City here. Go back to 1907, when a cross dedicated to Junipero Serra was inititally constructed atop Mount Rubidoux in Riverside, California.  In 1909, that community began an Easter sunrise service at the mountaintop cross. This was the first event of its kind and the idea quickly spread. A cross was erected on Mount Davidson in San Francisco in 1923.

Here in Redwood City, by 1927, 30 miles of roads in the Emerald Lakes area had been completed, most of them paved.

Joseph Leonard, developer of Ingleside Terraces would take the Mount Davidson monument cross concept to Redwood City in 1929, constructing an eighty-two foot high cross above the homes he was building at Emerald Lake.

In 1929, the Easter Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater, was built at the crest of California Way, and a large concrete cross above it at the high point of the development. (The cross would later be vandalized and rebuilt larger — at 94 feet, taller than the cross at San Francisco’s Easter Bowl, on Mount Davidson.)

(much thanks to cpearl for the photo)

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