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Eaton Memorial Chapel

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1879, Clayton and Lynch. 721 22nd St.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

Faced with weathered and patched gray stucco and framed by palm trees, Eaton Memorial Chapel, a freestanding, two-story parish hall, chapel, and classroom building adjacent to Trinity Episcopal Church, would be equally at home in New Orleans, Mobile, or Savannah. It represents the extent to which building materials, vegetation, and the climatic conditions of strong sunlight, salt spray, and incessant humidity conspire to formulate a southern tidewater architectural identity, despite the fact that Clayton described the building at the time of its completion as an “adaptation of modern French Gothic” and specifically cited French architect Viollet-le-Duc and several contemporary British architects as his sources of influence.

Sharing the block front on 22nd Street with Eaton Chapel is Trinity Church (1857) by Irish immigrant architect and builder John de Young. Trinity Church is stolid (it withstood the Storm of 1900 despite collapse of the nave's south wall) and dignified, but architecturally stringy, a term of opprobrium in Gothic Revival discourse. Built of dark reddish-brown brick, it lacks the evocative texture and coloration of Eaton Memorial Chapel.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Eaton Memorial Chapel", [Galveston, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 417-417.

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