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Student Life

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The Implemented Plan

Abbey Memorial Chapel


Abbey Memorial Chapel, 1938. Courtesy of MHC Archives.


In a memo from Mary Woolley at the Trustees and Faculty conference, she mentioned that there is was a growing need for a Gothic Chapel, which “shall be an inspiration to worship.” The existing chapel could no longer handle religious services for the growing student body. The decision needed to be made as to whether the new chapel would be built for chapel and Sunday services exclusively, or built to accommodate the college on special occasions such as Founder’s Day or Commencement.

At a Board of Trustee’s meeting on November 5, 1936, a vote was passed that the chapel be constructed according to sketches and plans prepared by the architectural firm of Allen, Collens, and Willis. The discretion was given to the special Chapel Building Committee to make any changes that may be necessary.

Once more, Charles Collens was called upon to design a new building for the College. The Abbey Memorial Chapel design took its inspiration from the library’s beautiful Gothic style and the architects reoriented the chapel entrance to the interior of the campus, creating a more secluded atmosphere for the College. Its entrance was situated parallel to that of Williston Memorial Library. In place of the original college entry, Collens placed the chancel and added a rose window above the altar (18).

Rose Window, Abbey Memorial Chapel. Courtesy of MHC Archives.

For Concluding Thoughts on Collegiate Gothic Architecture at MHC, Click Here

Atlas Home Page

Home Page

The History of Gothic Architecture:
Cambridge and Princeton
About Ralph Cram

A Time of Transition:
Bryn Mawr
Mary E. Woolley
Frederick Olmsted Jr.

The Envisioned Plan:
Program for Campus Development
Designs for the Library and Chapel
Shurtleff and Cram Present Their Ideas

The Implemented Plan:
Meetings and Discussions
Collens' Library Designs(Exterior)
Collens' Library Designs (Interior)
Bertha Blakely's Influence
Abbey Memorial Chapel
Charles Collens Dedication Speech and closing comments

Trivial Pursuit Question





This page was created by Ellie Perrier '07 FP in History 283, Spring 2 006