Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Chapel, The

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Institution Name: Eureka College
Original/Historic Place Name: Chapel, The
Location on Campus: 300 E. College Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1868-1869original construction Smith, James
Designer: James Smith
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Italianate, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
1869-present (2006)auditorium (seats 400)
1869-present (2006)chapel
1869-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (music)

Constructed shortly after the Civil War to satisfy the demand for space due to growing student enrollment, the Chapel served for years as the place where members of the campus community came together to share fellowship. Today the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Like Burrus Dickinson Hall, this building incorporates Federal architecture with elements of Neoclassical Revival style. Although Victorian style architecture was becoming fashionable in the U.S. by 1869, this structure continued the earlier motif of using classical Greco-Roman elements for ornamentation. The beautiful Palladian windows that adorn both floors of the structure are a central feature of the north façade.

The architects of the exterior portion of the building designed a facade with handsome, tall windows in front and entrances on either side. The interior architects planned alone, however, and placed the stairways leading to the second floor across the front windows, a feature that has never been changed.

According to its original design, the entire second floor provided for a chapel with a small stage and a lecture room that would seat 400. The three large rooms of the first floor were used for the library and meeting rooms of various campus literary societies. The Chapel auditorium was restored to its original condition in 1981 and renamed in honor of Dr. Raymond McCallister (class of 1931), a lifelong supporter of the college. The building today houses the Department of Music.


Knapp, Jana. Eureka College Administration and Chapel. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1980.

Rodriguez, Junius P. The Architecture of Eureka College. Pamphlet. Woodford, IL: Eureka College, 2003.


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Last update: November 2006