You are here

Alumni Memorial Chapel

-A A +A
1947–1954 design, John Gaw Meem, Hugo Zehner and Associates; 1960–1962 construction, Edward Holien and William Buckley. 1 University of New Mexico.

An exercise in archaeologically correct Spanish Colonial architecture, at least in appearance, the Alumni Memorial Chapel was effectively John Gaw Meem’s last work for the University of New Mexico campus.

The chapel was conceived in the wake of World War II to honor university alumni killed in the country’s wars. Based on designs that Meem drew up between 1947 and 1954, it was erected in 1960–1962 by his successor firm of Holien and Buckley. Built with walls of concrete block, the chapel emulates the massing of traditional adobe structures and is modeled after a recognized type of mission church that Meem had already copied multiple times since 1928. The single-nave sanctuary with a transept clerestory has a characteristically inset facade, with a balcony over the entrance between two buttress towers and a crowning bell cote. The altar screen by John Tatschl was painted, at a later date (1983–1984), with images of New Mexican saints by the santero John M. Gonzales, a traditional painter of religious images.

References

Bunting, Bainbridge. John Gaw Meem: Southwestern Architect. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1983.

Hooker, Van Dorn. Only in New Mexico: An Architectural History of the University of New Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2000.

University of New Mexico. Department of Facility Planning Records. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

University of New Mexico. Department of Facility Planning Drawings. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Christopher C. Mead
Coordinator: 
Christopher C. Mead
Regina N. Emmer

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,