Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Dimnent Memorial Chapel

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Institution Name: Hope College
Original/Historic Place Name: The Memorial Chapel
Location on Campus: 277 College Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1927-1929original construction Johnston, W. K.
Designer: W. K. Johnston
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: poured cement
Walls: limestone
Roof: tile on slope, modified bitumen on flat, built-up
ca. 1927other (chaplain's office)
ca. 1927-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 1927-present (2006)auditorium
ca. 1927-present (2006)chapel

The Memorial Chapel was built in 1927-1929 and renamed Dimnent Memorial Chapel in 1959 in honor of Dr. Edward Dimnent, the president of Hope (1918-1931) who inspired the chapel's planning and fundraising. The architect was W. K. Johnston, who also designed Graves Hall.

Dimnent Chapel's exterior was built in a severe, Protestant version of a popular revival style often referred to as Collegiate Gothic. It is an instructive style when contrasted with the neighboring structures on College Avenue, Graves and Voorhees Halls. The rectangularity and horizontal flow of space on the interior modestly suggest English origins. The stained glass windows were executed by Z. A. Zucci, a craftsman from Venice, Italy.

Dimnent Chapel houses a four-manual Skinner organ and a gallery organ built in the style of an eighteenth-century Dutch tracker organ. In addition to serving many of the spiritual needs of the college community, the chapel offers a range of other activities that add a cultural role musical events, special lectures, convocations, and community-related events thus fulfilling President Dimnent's aims.


Bruins, Elton J., and Larry J. Wagenaar. Campus Alive: A Walking Tour of Hope College. Holland, MI: Hope College, 1999.

Stegenga, Preston J. Anchor of Hope: The History of an American Denominational Institution, Hope College. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1954.

Wichers, Wynand. A Century of Hope: 1866-1966. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1966.


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Last update: November 2006