Packer Memorial Chapel

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Packer Memorial Chapel
Packer Memorial Chapel is located in Pennsylvania
Packer Memorial Chapel
Location Packer Avenue, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°36′27″N 75°22′41″W / 40.60750°N 75.37806°W / 40.60750; -75.37806Coordinates: 40°36′27″N 75°22′41″W / 40.60750°N 75.37806°W / 40.60750; -75.37806
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1885
Architect Addison Hutton
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 79003234[1]
Added to NRHP November 20, 1979

Packer Memorial Chapel (also known as Packer Memorial Church) is a historic church on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

It was designed by Philadelphia architect Addison Hutton, and built in 1885 when the university was affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It was donated by Mary Packer Cummings in memory of her father, Asa Packer. The chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Packer Memorial Church is currently an Episcopal church on campus. On Sundays, Roman-Catholic mass is usually held at 9:00 pm in the chapel. It is also available for weddings in which at least one of the parties is a Lehigh University student or alumnus. It used to be the location of the freshman convocation which is held during orientation at the beginning of each school year, however due to the growing class size, in 2007 convocation was moved to the larger Baker Auditorium in the Zoellner Arts Center. There have been rumors that secret catacombs are located underneath the foundation of the chapel. The original founders of Lehigh University, including Asa Packer, are supposedly buried there. However, in reality, "The Catacombs", was named on February 1, 1969 for a coffee house in the basement of the church. It soon became disused and was later a social meeting place for graduate student.[2] Asa Packer, on the other hand, was buried in the Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Jim Thorpe, PA, where his mansion was located.[3]

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