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Williams S. Houghton Memorial Chapel

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1896–1899, Heins and La Farge. Wellesley College.

This heavy walled and Tudor-detailed chapel, a gift to the college from the children of a trustee, is a lesser work by the original architects of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York. Heins and La Farge won this competition against A. W. Longfellow Jr.; Peabody and Stearns; and other local firms. The serene interior, designed with “acoustic properties suitable to women's voices” according to the terms of the competition, rises from a Greek cross plan. Its openness is achieved by steel trusses above the arching woodwork of the ceiling. Decorative accents include windows by John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany, a memorial to college president Alice Freeman Palmer by Daniel Chester French, and many Arts and Crafts furnishings.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Williams S. Houghton Memorial Chapel", [Wellesley, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 519-519.

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