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St. Joan of Arc Chapel

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c. 1450. 1300 block of W. Wisconsin Ave.
  • (Photograph by Paul J. Jakubovich, courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Milwaukee is rich with immigrant-influenced architecture, but this little stone Gothic chapel is an immigrant itself. Originally built in the French village of Chasse, twelve miles south of Lyon, it was disassembled in 1927, brought to the United States, and reassembled on the Long Island estate of Gertrude Hill Gavin (daughter of railroad developer James Hill). In 1964 the estate’s new owner, Marc Rojtman, donated the chapel to Marquette University, and the building was again carefully taken apart for the trip to Milwaukee. Completed in 1966, this final reconstruction included some minor changes to the original French plan. Originally called the Chapelle de St. Martin de Sayssuel, the chapel was renamed in honor of Joan of Arc, the French heroine who was believed to have prayed before a statue inside. Afterward, according to legend, she kissed the stone on which the statue stood; the stone remains in the chapel. The chapel floor contains the tomb of a French knight, the Chevalier de Sautereau (1473–1524).

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "St. Joan of Arc Chapel", [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 118-119.

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