Battell Chapel at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was built in 1874-76 as a Civil War memorial, with funds donated by Joseph Battell (April 17, 1806 - July 8, 1874) and others of his family. The chapel was designed by Russell Sturgis, Jr. in High Victorian Gothic style of rough brown sandstone. It was the third of Yale's chapels and is the largest on-campus house of worship. The Apse Memorial Windows were designed by the architect Russell Sturgis and installed by Slack, Booth & Co. of Orange, New Jersey in 1876. At the top of the center window appears the name of an early benefactor of Yale University, Elihu Yale.
The chapel was built to provide space for daily chapel, which was mandatory at Yale for students until 1926. Built together with Durfee and Farnam Halls at the corner of College and Elm Streets, the chapel was also part of an ongoing program to build up the perimeter of Old Campus and separate it from the rest of the city.
The Battell Chapel clock, with chimes consisting of five large bells that rang at each quarter hour, was at one time the clock to which others at Yale was synchronized; however, the chimes have been silent for years. The organ was the gift of Joseph Battell's sister, Irene (Battell) Larned. The chapel was enlarged in 1893 by architect J. Cleaveland Cady. An apse was added in 1947 and dedicated to the undergraduate deacons who died in World War II. The chapel is also the site of other memorials. The interior was restored in 1984 by Herbert S. Newman.
Farnam, Durfee and Battell were among the first Yale buildings to be named for donors rather than function, location, or legislative funding.
Battell Chapel is one of the locations on the Connecticut Freedom Trail, and an exhibition depicting the role that Yale Divinity School faculty and students played in assisting the Amistad Africans is maintained by Yale in the chapel's vestibule.
In the twenty-first century, Battell Chapel is the setting for the Sunday services of the University Church in Yale University, conducted by a Yale Chaplain. The chapel also serves as a concert hall and is the main performance venue for the Greater New Haven Youth Ensembles of Neighborhood Music School: The Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Concert Orchestra as well as the Greater New Haven Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Band.
- Patrick L. Pinnell, The Campus Guide: Yale University, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1999.
- Claire Zhang (7 October 2011). "Before our time: Battell Chapel’s clock". The Yale Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
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