Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Bothwell Chapel

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Institution Name: McKendree College
Original/Historic Place Name: The Chapel
Location on Campus: Top of College Hill, south view
Date(s) of Construction:
1858original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Greek revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone and brick
Walls: brick
Roof: tin, aluminum over wood structure
ca. 1856administration
1856-present (2006)chapel
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (conference room)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (office of the College chaplain)
ca. 2004-present (2006)museum (College Archives and Museum)

One of the unique features of Bothwell Chapel is the placement of the sanctuary, which has been located on the second floor since 1858. The first floor contains classrooms and offices for everyday use while preserving the sanctuary for more formal occasions. The steeple contains one of the oldest bells--possibly the oldest--in North America.

Bothwell has survived fires, disintegrating foundations, lightning strikes, and the general wear and tear of a public building. While recent renovations have included central heat and air conditioning, new hardwood floors, and the installation of an elevator, the historical appearance on the inside remains consistent with the building's past.


Chapel [McKendree College]. Historic American Buildings Survey report and photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1936.

McKendree College History, 1928-1978. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing, 1996.

Selected items in College collections (including yearbooks, newspapers, catalogs, clippings). Archives. McKendree College, Lebanon, IL.

Steen, Robert, McKendree College. Lebanon, IL: McKendree College, 1948.

Walton, William A. Centennial McKendree College History with St. Clair County. Lebanon, IL: McKendree College, 1928.


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Last update: November 2006