Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Warren Wilson College Chapel and Presbyterian Church

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Institution Name: Warren Wilson College
Original/Historic Place Name: College Chapel
Location on Campus: 101 North Ln.
Date(s) of Construction:
1964original construction Sapenfield, Charles M. J. Bertram King
1999addition of Fellowship Hall, Sunday School Rooms, and Church Offices Ferrell, Steve
Designer: Charles M. Sapenfield of the firm of J. Bertram King; 1999 addition by Steve Ferrell.
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: stone and glass
Roof: treated pine wood shakes
1964-present (2006)chapel (college chapel and Presbyterian Church)

Built in 1964, the Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church and College Chapel was made possible by a matching gift from an anonymous donation and contributions from friends of the college, church members, and alumni. The John L. Connet Memorial Organ was given by Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. Owen, members of the church, alumni and friends of Mr. Connet, music teacher and choir director (1938-1962).

Local materials were used as much as possible. Stone was hauled from nearby Bee Tree Valley by student work crews and the walnut wood for the cross in the chancel came from the college forest. The cross was designed and made by Hardy Davidson, a neighbor and Farm School alumnus. The design of the structure points upward, and the many triangles are used to emphasize the Trinity.

Fellowship Hall, Sunday school rooms and church offices were added in 1999, a gift from Christiana Ransom, long time friend of the college and trustee from 1978 to 2001. The architect for the Fellowship Hall addition was Steve Ferrell.


Holden, Reuben A. Warren Wilson College: A Centennial Portrait. [Swannanoa, NC: Warren Wilson College,] 1994.

Jensen, Henry W. A History of Warren Wilson College: On the Occasion the College's Eightieth Anniversary. [s.l.: s.n.,] 1974.

Martin, Elizabeth G. Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church and College Chapel. Warren Wilson College, 1974.

Martin, Elizabeth G., comp. The Buildings of Warren Wilson College. [s.l.: s.n.,] 1972.


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Last update: November 2006