Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel

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Cooper Chapel
Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel
Interior of the chapel
Interior of the chapel, 2012
Cooper Chapel is located in Arkansas
Cooper Chapel
Cooper Chapel
Location in Arkansas
Cooper Chapel is located in the United States
Cooper Chapel
Cooper Chapel
Cooper Chapel (the United States)
36°28′40″N 94°14′43″W / 36.47778°N 94.24528°W / 36.47778; -94.24528Coordinates: 36°28′40″N 94°14′43″W / 36.47778°N 94.24528°W / 36.47778; -94.24528
CountryUnited States
Founded1991 (1991)
Founder(s)Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel Foundation
Heritage designationNominated to NRHP, June 5, 1996
Architect(s)Fay Jones
Architectural typeModerne
StyleGothic (influences)
Length84 feet (26 m)
Width24 feet (7.3 m)
Height54 feet (16 m)
Number of floorsOne
Floor area2,016 square feet (187.3 m2)
MaterialsSteel, glass

Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel is a chapel located along Lake Norwood in Bella Vista, Arkansas, designed by E. Fay Jones and Maurice Jennings and constructed in 1988.[1] The chapel was commissioned by John A. Cooper, Sr. to honor Mildred Borum Cooper, his late wife. The chapel was designed with a mind toward celebrating both God and his creations.[2][3]

The chapel is a popular tourist destination in Northwest Arkansas, as well as a widely used wedding ceremony location.


Closeup view of the steel beams and glass panels that makeup the chapel

The design recalls the Prairie School of architecture popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom Jones had apprenticed. Jones used 31 tons of steel and 4,460 square feet of glass[1] to create a series of Gothic arches that run the length of the chapel.[4] Though it looks like an open-air structure, the chapel is a glass-enclosed, air-conditioned space.

Soon after completion the chapel was praised that it "quietly commands a dignity and presence uncommon among buildings of our era."[5]

About Mildred Borum Cooper[edit]

Mildred Borum Cooper, born and raised in Arkansas, spent much of her life in service to her people and community.[1] She was president of United Methodist Women's organizations, served in the Girl Scout organization, worked as postmistress, and organized the first garden club, home extension club, and library in Cherokee Village.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "About Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel". Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  3. ^ "Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel - Encyclopedia of Arkansas". Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  4. ^ Barry, Helen; Nichols, Cheryl. "The Arkansas Designs of E. Fay Jones 1956-1997" (PDF). Little Rock, Arkansas: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. pp. 63–66. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 29, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  5. ^ Cordes, Karen (October 1988). "Encore Delivered with Strength and Delicacy" (PDF). Journal of the American Institute of Architects: 52–57 – via Archive at US Modernist.

External links[edit]