Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Barnwell Chapel (Main Campus)

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Institution Name: Berry College
Original/Historic Place Name: Barnwell Chapel
Location on Campus: Main campus, at Log Cabin Campus on Cottage Circle
Date(s) of Construction:
1911original construction Barnwell, Captain John Gibbs
Designer: Captain John Gibbs Barnwell (Rome, GA)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Regionalist/Vernacular, Other (Glossary)
Significance: education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: rock originally, concrete support with brick veneer currently
Walls: exterior: logs cut from Berry forests; interior: pine wainscoting and plaster
Roof: cedar shingles
ca. 1911other (music studios, store for the Martha Berry School for Girls)
ca. 1911classrooms
ca. 1911library
1911-present (2006)chapel (for services and weddings)

This rustic log cabin chapel was built in 1911 on the site of the original campus of the Martha Berry School for Girls (Log Cabin Campus). The building served as a place of worship for the women at the Girls' School, as well as for Sunday school and Sunday evening vesper services. Four small rooms are situated on either side of the chapel, and have been used for classrooms, music studios, the library, and a store. In later years when men and women had classes and worshipped together, Barnwell was used for summer services of the College Chapel congregation. It has been the site of many weddings and memorial services. Martha Berry lay in state in this chapel following her death in February 1942.

The chapel was completely renovated in 1984-85 with Job Training Partnership Act funds for training off-campus persons to work with log structures. The chapel was air-conditioned at that time. It is unique in its architecture among log cabins, with nautical symbols incorporated in the round windows both above the entrance and the altar.


Berry Trails: An Historic and Contemporary Guide to Berry College. Third edition. Mt. Berry, GA: Berry College, 2001.

Dickey, Ouida, and Doyle Mathis, eds. Martha Berry: Sketches of Her Schools and College. Atlanta: Wing Publishers, 2001.

Thomas, Kenneth H., Jr. The Berry Schools [Berry College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1978.


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Last update: November 2006