Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: Trinity College (CT)
Original/Historic Place Name: Chapel
Location on Campus: adjoins Downes Clock Tower on the east
Date(s) of Construction:
1932original construction Frohman, Philip Hubert Frohman, Robb & Little
Designer: Philip Hubert Frohman (Frohman, Robb & Little)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: Indiana limestone
Roof: slate
1932-present (2006)chapel

The Trinity College Chapel is a superb example of the early twentieth-century Collegiate Gothic style by the respected firm of Frohman, Robb & Little, architects of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Philip H. Frohman was the principal architect carrying out the design for the Chapel. Inspired by the English Gothic universities at Oxford and Cambridge, the Chapel is a combination of the English Gothic style, with Norman Gothic details in the Crypt Chapel, and Decorated and Perpendicular Gothic styles in the Chapel's main body. The interior arrangement, where pews face each other, is modeled after English collegiate practice.

The Chapel is renowned not only for its design and beauty, but also for the distinctive nature of its interior fabric. It is graced by extensive wood carvings, including pew ends and kneeler ends as well as the Procession Frieze and Bestiary in the Sanctuary, all the work primarily of Gregory Wiggins. The stained glass windows, including the Te Deum or Great East Window over the main altar, the windows in the Crypt Chapel and the Chapel of Perfect Friendship, and the Rose Window or Mother's Window, are the work of Earl Sanborn. The tower features a 49-bell carillon built by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough, England. As a result of the summer concert series, which the general public has enjoyed for more than fifty years, the carillon has become a "civic instrument," much as in the Low Countries. The Chapel also has a large pipe organ built by the Austin Organ Company of Hartford, on which visiting artists give public concerts.


Grant, Peter. The Chapel of Trinity College. Hartford, CT: Trinity College, 1982.

Knapp, Peter J., and Anne H. Knapp. Trinity College in the Twentieth Century: A History. Hartford, CT: Trinity College, 2000.


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Last update: November 2006