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Parowan Third Ward Chapel

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1914, Miles Miller; 1959-1961 addition, Fetzer and Fetzer. 90 S. Main St.

The Parowan Third Ward Chapel reflects the brief influence of the Prairie Style on the architecture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Utah. Its architect, Miles E. Miller, began his career as a carpenter, attended the University of Utah for two years, and then began an architecture apprenticeship in 1908. His earliest commission for the LDS Church was the Carbon Tabernacle in Price, Utah, in 1911, the same year he became a registered architect. Miller went on to form a partnership with two former Frank Lloyd Wright apprentices, Taylor Woolley and Clifford Evans, and the Parowan Chapel reflects this Wrightian influence.

The Parowan Chapel functioned as the worship space for the Parowan East Ward, later referred to as the Third Ward and the Parowan Stake meetinghouse. The design was especially indebted to work of Utah architects Hyrum C. Pope and Harold W. Burton, who had designed some of the earliest Prairie Style ward houses for the LDS Church. Most notable among these are Salt Lake City’s Liberty Stake First Ward Chapel (1911–1914), from which Miller derived the architectural program of the Parowan Third Ward Chapel. Both buildings were approximately the same size with a T-shaped footprint. Miller’s brick masonry design places the main entry in the center of the facade below a short, cantilevered roof with upturned eaves. The entry is framed by two square engaged columns with geometrically decorated cast capitals, somewhat reminiscent of those seen in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple (1905). Beyond the entry is a vestibule containing two inner doors that open into aisles leading under the choir loft and toward the rostrum.

The chapel accommodates 480 people, with additional seating for 135 in the choir loft. Two overflow classrooms adjacent to the rostrum provide another forty-two seats. The worship space is a large, two-story enclosure terminating in a curved ceiling divided into open panels by stained wood banding. Similar banding contrasts with the cream-colored walls, and frames the rostrum as well as the upper walls of the worship space. The inner ceiling and sidewalls of the rostrum have a series of curved parallel panels, most likely to enhance acoustics. The interior is illuminated by tall, narrow, two-story windows on the north and south walls, and narrow windows on the east entry facade. From the exterior, the windows in the north and south walls are framed by brick piers and capped with the same cast ornamentation found on the entry facade. All of the windows throughout the building are a combination of clear and stained glass in a geometric pattern with wooden muntins.

The chapel is located on a central block of Parowan’s grid plan. In 1959–1961, architectural firm Fetzer and Fetzer built an addition to the north side of the chapel in the same style as the original structure.

References

Goss, Peter L. “The Prairie School Influence in Utah.” The Prairie School Review XII, no. 1 (First Quarter 1975): entire issue.

Jackson, Richard W. Places of Worship: 150 Years of Latter-day Saint Architecture.Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 2003.

Nicoletta, Julie. Buildings of Nevada. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

“Parowan Third Ward.” LDS Architecture: Discover Great Mormon Buildings. Accessed June 13, 2016. https://ldsarchitecture.world press.com/.

“Parowan Third/Fourth Ward Chapel.” The Prairie School Traveler. Accessed June 15, 2016. http://prairieschooltraveler.com/.

Warrum, Noble, ed. Utah Since Statehood. Vol III. Salt Lake City: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1919.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Peter Goss
Coordinator: 
Shundana Yusaf
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Data

Timeline

  • 1914

    Built
  • 1959

    Addition

What's Nearby

Citation

Peter Goss, "Parowan Third Ward Chapel", [Parowan, Utah], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/UT-01-021-0081.

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