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St. Nicholas Chapel (Byzantine Catholic Church of the Greek Union)

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Byzantine Catholic Church of the Greek Union
1992, Thomas S. Terpack. 5400 Tuscarawas Rd., 6.5 miles west of Beaver
  • St. Nicholas Chapel (Byzantine Catholic Church of the Greek Union) (Lu Donnelly)
  • (Michelle Krone)
  • (Michelle Krone)

At the crest of a hill, its bulk relieved by the delightful interplay of its three onion domes, St. Nicholas Chapel is a unique sight in this suburban area. Its cedar logs and shingles resemble traditional village chapels in the Carpathian region of eastern Slovakia and western Ukraine, but they cloak modern features, such as structural steel framing, computer-controlled lighting, and air conditioning. Two massive carved wooden entrance doors are framed with logs and sheltered by the deep eaves of the roof; the eaves are supported by decoratively carved wood columns across the facade. Shingles cover the roof and domes. The chapel is small, seating only eighty people. A vestibule precedes the nave, and the sanctuary is separated from the nave by an iconostasis screen. The interior, designed by Michael Barbush Jr. of the Pittsburgh firm of Burke and Michael, is lined with random-width beveled oak planks stained progressively lighter, which prevents the upper dome from appearing too dark. Windows are located only in the upper areas to avoid weakening the log structure. Artists from Cleveland carved and painted the intensely colored modern icons in the church; the icon in the central dome is Christ Pantocrator.

Architect Thomas Terpack, a graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology and of Carpathian heritage, designed several Byzantine Rite churches in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He calls this chapel “my private homage to my parents and my grandparents, who labored hard and long in the mines and mills to give me the opportunity to become a professional.”

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "St. Nicholas Chapel (Byzantine Catholic Church of the Greek Union)", [Beaver, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 139-140.

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