Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Chapel of the Annunciation

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: University of Saint Mary
Original/Historic Place Name: Chapel of the Annunciation; Annunciation Chapel
Location on Campus: SW side of campus, btwn University of Saint Mary campus & Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Mother House, 4100 S 4th St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1914-1916original construction; October 1914 - January 1916 Wight, William James McGonigle
Designer: William Wight (Kansas City, MO); James McGonigle (contractor)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: limestone
Walls: tapestry brick, terra cotta ornamentation, plaster over tile
Roof: slate tile, interior: rounded Romanesque ceilings and ornamentation
1916-present (2006)chapel (seats 500)

Annunciation Chapel stands at the central point between the Mother House of the Sisters of Charity at Leavenworth and the University of Saint Mary campus. Members of the religious community and the university use Annunciation Chapel for religious services and for cultural activities appropriate for a place of prayer.

Seating about 500 people, Annunciation Chapel was built between 1914 and 1916 and is a replica of the Church of San Alfonso in Rome. Its unique style is early Renaissance Palladian, and the Chapel faces east in the manner of basilicas. The exterior of Annunciation is tapestry brick ornamented with terra cotta. Across the center front is a row of marble columns supporting a terra cotta cornice. Over the two outside columns and the two columns flanking the entrance are statues of Guardian Angels. The two bells in the belfry are inscribed in memory of the first two Bishops of Leavenworth, the Reverend John Baptist Miege, S.J., and the Reverend Lewis Fink, O.S.B.

The Chapel interior was renovated in 1981-1982 to conform to changes in liturgical action decreed by Vatican II Council. However, many of the original architectural features remain. Above the altar is a decorated marble frieze of the prayer, Hail Mary, in Latin. Flanking the text are figures of six angels carrying symbols of the liturgy. In panels to the left and right of the altar are the Latin words for "And the Word was made Flesh," and "And dwelled among us." The stained glass windows were the work of the Studio of Henry Keck of Syracuse, N.Y., who had received training in the Tiffany Studios of New York. Four of the stained glass windows are full-length representations of the Resurrection, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, the Agony in the Garden, and the Good Shepherd. Above the altar and in the choir loft are Rose windows. The lunettes above the side windows depict Christ and four male saints on the south side, and the Blessed Virgin and four female saints on the north side.


Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006