Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Dorothy Speer Chapel

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Institution Name: LeTourneau University
Original/Historic Place Name: Harmon General Hospital Chapel
Location on Campus: 2100 S. Mobberly Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1943dedicated and opened for services; January 31, 1943
1982renovated and renamed
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: pier and beam, with wood floor
Walls: originally, wood frame covered with transite shingles; currently, interior wood frame with wainscoting; pews not original; white interior
Roof: composition shingle
 
Function:
1943-present (2006)chapel
 

Narrative:
Speer Chapel is in excellent condition and continues to be a link to the past, both as the army chapel until 1946 and as the university chapel until 1965. The 1982 renovation, completed with funds from Dorothy Speer, preserved the chapel as a memorial to the 23,405 active-duty servicemen treated at the hospital and to the hospital staff members who served here. A Texas historical marker was dedicated on April 27, 1999 safeguarding the building as a historical treasure. The chapel served Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish servicemen and hospital employees' families during the Second World War. The chapel was also a site for weddings of staff and servicemen and women.

Each August, the university faculty and staff gather in the chapel for the president's state of the university address. It is also the site for university weddings, group meetings, and dramatic and musical presentations.
 

References:

Durham, Kenneth R. Jr. "Harmon General Hospital." East Texas Historical Journal 38, no. 1 (2000): 25-42.

Durham, Kenneth R. Jr. LeTourneau University's First 50 years. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company, 1995.

 

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Last update: November 2006