II. The Cathedral as a Multiuse Space and as a Destination
The mayor has expressed his desire for a destination center and first day attraction and the Cathedral fulfills the idea of destination on several levels.
The Cathedral is conceived as a multiuse space, a religious, concert, and forum space in program, but also open to all for many other uses. Sports forums, weddings, highschool convocations, conferences and many other events will take on new and heightened meaning in this awesome space of golden light. As a performance space the Cathedral will offer stage hydraulics, lighting, and a structure which allows suspension of large scale backdrops. The 90 foot doors which open to the river will provide opportunities in plays and dance performances for entrances and exits of great and high drama. The large electronic screens facing the space and the river will allow events from various parts of the world to be played out here with the presence of the whole valley seen through the glass walls. The sense of gathering in such a meaningful setting in the heart of an American city and with the ability to broadcast in or out electronically via the large screens will make this space part of the world forum. As can be seen in the business plan for the Cathedral the projected attendance considering only the Cathedral sponsored events is 595,000 placing it as the fourth largest draw, following the Pirates, the Zoo, and the Penguins.
The multiuse nature of this building will bring great inspiration and meaning on Sundays and also enliven the space with
music and gatherings the other six days of the week. When events are not occurring the Cathedral will still remain open
24 hours a day, as a place of reflection and prayer, a destination point where one ponders the beauty of the space, the city,
and their ultimate destination.
In considering the drawing power of such a space by comparison, the Crystal Cathedral in California has found that more people visit the Cathedral on weekdays than on Sundays and is building a $40 million visitor¡¯s center to accommodate the 250,000 visitors they now have and the 500,000 they are projecting for the year 2001. The program is also televised to 30 million people worldwide each week. As can be seen on the 7:00AM Channel 11 service, the volume and beauty of the space combined with the music, the message, and the guest interviews which are part of the uplifting service draws people and also extraordinary preachers, musicians, choirs, writers, physicians, and speakers who donate their time and talent to testify and perform in this space. While much of this talent comes from California, Pittsburgh can draw from New York and its own gifted populace. The space, the thoughts and talents expressed, and the music will attract people of character to the city.
Two of the major events the Cathedral will host are the Christmas and Easter pageants. Like those performed on a grand scale at the Crystal Cathedral and at Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, Pa. the pageants will become annual events in the city and an impetus for visiting. As can be noted in the business plan the annual projected attendance will be 203,000 with a revenue of $4.5 million. Combined with other revenue, and allowing for operational costs, the Cathedral is estimated to operate with a $5 million positive cash flow which after the building financing is complete, will provide for great and unique outreach programs as outlined later in the proposal. With these revenues and visitor impact will come substantial economic benefits to the city and region with estimated taxes of $2.4 million to the State, $1.3 million to the County, $384,000 to the RAD, and $1.9 million to the City in taxes and parking revenue.
Through the events and religious services broadcast out and broadcast in from Rome and other parts of Europe, the Cathedral may provide the visual and spiritual link to bring the European visitors the Governor desires.