Skinner Memorial Chapel
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The chapel was a gift of Emily Willey Skinner in memory of her husband, Miron W. Skinner, a trustee of the college from its founding until his death in 1909. At the donor's request, the building was constructed to face the town rather than the campus to symbolize the relationship between the college and the surrounding community. Skinner Chapel, built in 1915-1916 and clad in gray Bedford limestone, is the centerpiece of the south end of the campus. (Prior to its construction, chapel services had been held on the second floor of Willis Hall.)
Patton, Holmes and Flinn, the successor to the Chicago firm that had designed Scoville Library, was hired to devise a unified plan. Called the "Group Plan," it was published in the college catalog between 1917-1918 and 1947-1948. Symmetrically laid out, it had a men's quadrangle at the west, a women's quadrangle at the east, a chapel and academic office building at the south, and an academic teaching building at the north. The overall stylistic inspiration was Gothic, which had enjoyed a great resurgence for college design at the end of the nineteenth century. City College in New York, the University of Chicago, and Yale University in New Haven are notable examples. All ten buildings constructed during the Cowling era were designed by Patton, Holmes and Flinn, or its successor firm, Holmes and Flinn.
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