The Famous “Chapel of the Holy Cross” at the Byway’s north end
The chapel was inspired and commissioned by local Sedona rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who had been inspired in 1932 by the newly constructed Empire State Building to build such a church. After an attempt to do so in Budapest, Hungary (with the help of Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright) was aborted due to the outbreak of World War II, she decided to build the church in her native region.
Richard Hein was chosen as project architect, and the design was executed by architect August K. Strotz, both from the firm of Anshen & Allen. The chapel is built on Coconino National Forest land; the late Senator Barry Goldwater assisted Staude in obtaining a special-use permit. The construction supervisor was Fred Courkos, who built the chapel in 18 months at a cost of US$300,000. The chapel was completed in 1956.
One of the most distinctive features is a 90-foot cross, which can be seen from the Byway.
There are no Mass services but a Taize Evening Prayer Service is held Mondays at 5pm. It’s an ideal setting for spiritual reflection as well as incredible red rock views. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.