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Chapter House Shell

Chapter House Shell

Vina, Tehama County, California

When the Cistercian Order sent a contingent from its Kentucky monastery to open a chapter in the Sacramento Valley in 1955, the priest leading the mission stopped in San Francisco to see what was left of the stones. What he found looked like rubble, but he was determined to get hold of it to see if at least part of the old structure could be rebuilt. He and the order persevered, and in the '90s finally got the city to agree to turn over the remaining stones. Architects and preservationists had determined that the remaining material apparently belonged to the old abbey's chapter house. [Since the structure is for public use, it needs to be built up to current seismic codes. The interior is built of reinforced concrete block, and will be lined with old chapter house stones combined with newly quarried and cut stone.]

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