The above preliminary sketch was
rendered by Fort Lauderdale, Florida Architect RICHARD ALLEN ROSE
1967. Mr. Rose
prepared the sketch at the request and on the basis of a concept
described to him by Dr. Mark A. C. Karras. Mr. Rose captured his
client's notion in a creative and inspired manner. The design, along with
all its contemporary implications, is also reminiscent of the domed structure
and history of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
On October 30, 1990, Karras
approached The Honorable Art Agnos, then Mayor of the City of San Francisco,
with a written proposal as excerpted below. Both the project proposal and
the Mayor's response are reproduced in this page for public viewing and
consideration. It is fitting to mention that the proposed structure lends
itself to a variety of cultural functions, such as musical concerts, lectures,
classical theatrical performances, art displays and the like. Furthermore,
the Mayor's response was not affected by the above architectural design, because
the design was never submitted for consideration.
This unique structure will embellish the Bay of San Francisco,
will punctuate the presence and identity of the Pacific rim, and
will also become a global symbol and source of inspiration: New York has
its Statue, Sydney its Opera House, Athens its Parthenon, Paris its Tower, Tokyo
its Mount Fuji, San Francisco its Golden Gate, London its Big Ben, Seattle its Needle, Rio its Sugar Loaf.
What is then to be said of the farthest reach westward, the Pacific Coast of The
AMERICAS? (See: newbyz.html for more background).
"On this occasion, I submit the following to your Honor (your being literally
the first person to whom I present this thought): That is, convert the Island of
Alcatraz to an all-Faiths religious haven where people from all over the world
will come to visit. Raise up a new St. Sophia in the center in full
grandeur, surrounded by other marvelous architecture of other religious Faiths.
Let the funding come from all over the world and create a precious spectacle to
be admired from near and afar by day and by night in glittering outlines.
It is a vision of a New Jerusalem in isolated beauty."
The Mayor's hopeful
and informative response:
The Fall of Constantinople
and the Dome of Hagia Sophia:
"The next morning the city was shrouded in fog, unheard-of at the end of May; the
same night the dome of St. Sophia was suffused with an unearthly red glow that
crept slowly up from the base to the summit and then went out. This last
phenomenon was also seen by the Turks in Galata; Mehmet himself was greatly
disturbed . . . . " (Norwich, John Julius.
. A Short History of Byzantium [p. 377]. New York: Alfred A. Knoff).
"And I looked, and, behold, a
whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and
a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber,
out of the midst of the fire." (Ezek. 1:4, KJV).
Go to Home
of Western Civilization: from
the Great to Constantinople
and Byzantium and onward to
is The AMERICAS
We are sincerely pleased you have come to visit our Site and we extend
to you our warmest greeting in the highest tradition of
BYZANTIUM. Our Principal goal is to impart to you
heretofore intentionally little known facts about BYZANTIUM as the foundation of
We will avoid knowingly withholding the truth as an aim to social
disorientation. Practice of historical deception must cease.
We hope that you will enjoy our
contribution to the fullest. Welcome.
Constantine the Great began his eventful climb in York, England and
reached the apex of his achievement in Constantinople, the City that he founded
and named after himself (Constantine+Polis
By means of these pages, our readers travel through time, touching
upon the early periods, including that of Constantine, of historical
Constantinople, and of Hagia Sophia—the nexus of the Christian world—to
arrive at places and events of our present day.
Our readers reach the outermost limit to which both Eastern and
Western Christian groups expanded, bringing forth the flower of Western
Civilization. That limit is the Western Hemisphere as a whole, and in
particular the coast of California near San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge
where the two groups converged as they approached from the North and from the