Old Chapel (Amherst, Massachusetts)
View of Old Chapel, with the W.E.B. Du Bois Library to the right
|Alternative names||Old Chapel Library
|Type||Academic offices, assembly hall, library|
|Architectural style||Richardsonian Romanesque|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Stephen C. Earle, Worcester|
|Main contractor||John Beston, Amherst|
Old Chapel, formerly known as the Old Chapel Library, is a landmark on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Constructed in 1884 at a cost of $25,000 to serve as a library, museum, and assembly hall, the Richardson Romanesque style building, constructed by Stephen C. Earle, has over the years been home to numerous academic departments and, most recently, the UMass Marching Band. The Chapel's original bell, "Old Aggie," was added in 1892, since replaced by 44 Carillon bells. Although the tower underwent a $1.65 million renovation in 1999, the Old Chapel has been uninhabited since 1996; a movement among alumni exists to further renovate the interior of the building, allowing the Old Chapel to again be used as a center for campus life.
In 2013 Amherst Campus Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced a campaign to restore and re-purpose the interior of Old Chapel. In support of that campaign, a private organization, Preserve UMass, filed a nomination for this building to the National Register of Historic Places. The filing was made with the Massachusetts Historical Commission and with Chancellor Subbaswamy. In the course of research for the nomination, the assertion that John F. Kennedy spoke in this building during his 1952 U.S. Senate campaign could not be verified with the staff at the J.F. K. Library.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Old Chapel (Amherst, Massachusetts).|