Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Alice G. Chapman Teak Room in Jason Downer Commons

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Institution Name: Lawrence University
Original/Historic Place Name: Chapman Library - Milwaukee-Downer College
Location on Campus: 724 E. Alton St.
Date(s) of Construction:
ca. 1892commission shortly after Chicago World's Fair in 1892 Deforest, Lockwood
Designer: Lockwood Deforest
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1892-present (2006)other (space for receptions, meetings, social events, performances, art events)
ca. 2004-present (2006)museum (gallery)

The Teakwood Room is located in Jason Downer Commons and has lace-like carvings of teakwood surrounding the walls, arches, pillars, cabinets, chairs, and tables, all of South Asian teakwood. It was designed by Lockwood de Forest and commissioned by Timothy Appleton Chapman and his daughter Alice shortly after the Chicago World Fair in 1892. It was carved in India and transported to Milwaukee via London, England. Upon their deaths it was donated, packed up, and moved to a wing in the Chapman Library at Milwaukee-Downer College. When Milwaukee-Downer College merged with Lawrence College in 1964 to become Lawrence University, the Teakwood Room was once again packed up and moved, this time to Appleton, Wisconsin. It has been used as a gathering place for musicals and social events in the Chapman home, for poetry readings, chamber music, informal coffees, and formal receptions at Milwaukee-Downer College. Today it is a point of interest on the Lawrence University campus, used for receptions, meetings, and as a gallery.


Breunig, Charles. "A Great and Good Work": A History of Lawrence University, 1847-1964. Appleton, WI: Lawrence University Press, 1994.

Lawrence's Treasure of Teakwood--The Story of Alice G. Chapman Teakwood Room in Jason Downer Commons. Pamphlet. Appleton, WI: Lawrence University, [n.d.]


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Last update: November 2006