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Marty Leonard Community Chapel

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1990, E. Fay Jones, with Maurice Jennings, and Kirk, Voich and Gist, associate architects. 3131 Sanguinet St.

The first of Jones’s remarkable wood chapels to be situated outside Arkansas, this nondenominational worship space was constructed for the Lena Pope Home, which provides child treatment services. The chapel was financed by donations in honor of Martha “Marty” Leonard, a board member and supporter of the home. The site on the crest of a rolling hill that slopes down to the I-30 freeway had almost no trees. Set on a brick plinth, the wooden chapel’s prow shape rises from the long north slope. The architects used Philippine mahogany framing rather than redwood as they had in previous chapels. The chapel is Gothic in its structure and has a narthex-nave-and-transept layout. The influence of Frank Lloyd Wright is apparent in the low, seven-foot ceiling at the entrance, which then blossoms into the gabled, skylighted, treelike volume of the nave. The contingent and operatic play of daylight on layered edges is the mesmerizing quality in Jones’s work.

In 2000, the Lena Pope Home leased the base of the site facing the freeway frontage road to Dallas developer Jim Strode, who built the Mediterranean-styled Chapel Hill retail center here. The profits provide income for the care of youth, but the precious foreground to the chapel and its seclusion were destroyed by the harsh juxtaposition of the sacred and profane.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Marty Leonard Community Chapel", [Fort Worth, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 220-220.

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