When the city of Los Angeles condemned the quake-damaged Cathedral of St. Vibiana in 1996, the archdiocese was left without a cathedral church.
The site for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was acquired in December 1996. The cathedral complex was designed by Spanish architect José Rafael Moneo of Madrid.
The complex includes a residence and a conference center, in a 2.5-acre landscaped plaza. A 600-car parking garage is beneath the buildings on the east end of the site.