Best of 2001: Best Electrified Cross

Trinity United Methodist Church
3030 Thorn Street, North Park
619-281-2592 or 619-281-2768

Every evening from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. an illuminated eight-foot cross slowly rotates on the tower of Trinity United Methodist Church, casting its radiance upon a neighborhood of Craftsman bungalows and apartments. Examining the Romanesque revival-style church built in 1924 provides no answers to the question: how did this electrified cross get here? The church seems straight out of the hilltop towns of Tuscany, the cross straight out of Las Vegas. Bill Hulen, Jr., a former chairman of Trinity's board, says that the cross is original to the building and rotated for decades before falling into disrepair in the 1960s. However, no one can explain the church founders' interesting choice of cross. "A little surprising for such a conservative denomination," a nearby resident observes. An anonymous benefactor within the church provided the funds to get the vintage cross working again in 1995. Since then the cross has become a popular neighborhood icon. Fond stories are told about the cross, including the one about the neighbor who, due to the position of his chair while watching TV, was blinded each time the cross made its eight-second revolution. The wattage has been toned down since then.

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