Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Baker Chapel

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Institution Name: McDaniel College
Original/Historic Place Name: Baker Chapel
Location on Campus: South entrance, east side, second building
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1895original construction Gott, Jackson
1995restoration of interior and exterior Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: limestone
Roof: cedar shake
1895-1940other (Sunday school)
1932-present (2007)other (small religious group meetings)
1932-present (2007)auditorium (chamber music concerts, memorial services, weddings, funerals, ceremonies)

Significance: architecture, history, religion
Landmark designation:
National Register
Narrative: see below
References: see below

This building, perhaps more than any other on campus, reflects the long history of the institution (especially its many years of affiliation with the Methodist Church). Alumni often note that this space is one which brings back fond memories.

Serving as the first true College chapel from 1895 to 1932 (when it was outgrown), the structure was built with a generous gift from William G. Baker in gratitude for restoring his son, William G. Baker, Jr., to health. The original organ was installed soon after the building was dedicated and was recently replaced by a newly built organ especially designed for the space (but which incorporates the pipes and console of three older campus organs including the original for the building). In 1995 the chapel was given a face lift, with a new roof, repointing of the stonework, repainting of the interior, and refinishing of the antique oak furnishings. The chapel was then rededicated on its 100th birthday.

Baker Chapel has played a significant role in the history of the College, especially the earlier years when the entire student body would gather there each Sunday evening for Chapel, and many would also attend Sunday school there. The Investiture of the Seniors with Cap and Gown also was originated there and was held there until 1932. Many couples who met at the College have chosen to be married in this charming chapel, and many services of remembrance and farewell have been held in it as well. It continues to serve the campus in a variety of ways and is in constant use.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bulletin of the Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland 2, no. 2 (May 1952).

Chandler, Douglas R. Pilgrimage of Faith; A Centennial History of Wesley Theological Seminary--1882-1982. Santa Ana, CA: Seven Locks Press, 1984.

Makosky, John D. "Western Maryland College in the Nineteenth Century." Western Maryland College Bulletin [n.d.].

Schofield, Samuel Biggs, and Marjorie Cowles Crain. Western Maryland College The Formative Years, 1866-1947. Westminster, MD: Western Maryland College, 1982.

Weeks, Christopher. "The Building of Westminster in Maryland." Bulletin of the Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland 2, no. 1 (May 1949).

Western Maryland College Historic District [including McDaniel College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1976.

Zepp, Ira G. "Western Maryland College: The Hill." In A Grateful Memory: History of Baker Chapel. Westminster, MD: Western Maryland College, 1995.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

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