Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Chapel Auditorium

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Institution Name: Iowa Wesleyan College
Original/Historic Place Name: University Chapel and Science Hall
Location on Campus: Center Campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1889construction began Snider, John for L. Wilhelm & Sons
1893construction completed
Designer: John Snider for L. Wilhelm & Sons
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Victorian, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
ca. 1893library
ca. 1893classrooms
ca. 1893chapel
ca. 1893academic department building (chemistry)
1893-present (2006)auditorium (seats 750)
ca. 2004-present (2006)student union (student-run coffeehouse)

The building emphasizes the connection between education and religion and has served as the cultural center for the campus and the community. The aesthetics of the building include beautiful stained glass windows and wonderful acoustics that add to the charm. This is the largest auditorium in the county and serves the community and the campus for cultural events, meetings, recitals, and other uses. The renovation of the building has been supported by the efforts of a College/community Chapel Restoration Committee that has worked for the past 19 years to raise funds to preserve and maintain the building. Currently the building is in need of a new roof and masonry work on the brick towers. A master plan completed in 2000 has identified and prioritized other areas of structural concern.


Corkhill, Thomas E. "The Birth of Iowa Wesleyan." Mt. Pleasant Iowa Wesleyan, November 30, 1896.

Haselmayer, Louis A. A Sesquicentennial History of Iowa Wesleyan College (1842-1992). Mt. Pleasant, IA: Iowa Wesleyan College, 1992.

Kennedy, Charles J. History and Alumni Record of Iowa Wesleyan College 1842-1942. Mt. Pleasant, IA: Iowa Wesleyan College, 1942.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888.


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Last update: November 2006