Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Memorial Chapel

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Institution Name: King College
Original/Historic Place Name: Memorial Chapel
Location on Campus: 2413 Tadlock Rd.
Date(s) of Construction:
1932original construction Kearfott, Clarence B. or Kearfott & Jones
Designer: Clarence C. Kearfott or Kearfott & Jones (attr. to)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Colonial revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: exterior: brick; interior: block and plaster
Roof: asphalt shingles
ca. 1932-1962library (until new library opened)
ca. 1932-present (2006)chapel
ca. 2004-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices (music faculty)

The Memorial Chapel originally seated approximately 350 in the auditorium. The downstairs was used as the college library until the opening of the E. W. King Library in 1964. Interior renovations took place sporadically over time and included adding a chiller for air conditioning in 1961, conversion from coal heat to gas fired boilers in the 1980s, and significant seating expansion by the addition of a balcony and more pews on the main floor.

This building was built in 1931 to honor the parents of the current president of King College, Dr. C. W. Henry. The college seal is over the door, pointing to the history of the purpose of the facility. It reads, "ECCLESIAE ET LITTERIS" (for the Church and for Learning).

Currently the chapel is in need of renovation to meet current accessibility codes, proper egress requirements, upgraded electrical service and circuitry, reduced seating, and probably a rearrangement of seating so it can continue to service the campus as a performing arts facility.

The Chapel continues to assist in the spiritual growth of the King College community through frequent chapel and convocation services provided to this day. Throughout the history of the college, these services have often included aesthetic and cultural presentations from a variety of sources, both local and international.


Landscape Master Plan. Narrative and drawings. King College, Bristol, TN.

Selected items from Collection of Master Plans. 1917, 1931, 1952 and 1968. King College Archives, King College, Bristol, TN.

Thompson & Litton Architects. Master Plan [King College]. Narrative and drawings. [Wise, VA: Thompson & Litton Architects], October 1998 and 1999.


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Last update: November 2006