Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Sylvan Chapel

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Albright College
Original/Historic Place Name: Springhouse for farm on the property
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1773original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: masonry
Walls: masonry
Roof: slate
1773-ca. 1800other (springhouse)
1773-n.d.other (storage)
ca. 1800other (one-room schoolhouse)
1942-present (2007)chapel
ca. 1950-present (2007)other (space for meditation)

Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Sylvan Chapel, built in 1773 before the American Revolution, is one of the oldest buildings on campus. The vernacular stone building initially served as a springhouse for a nearby farm, with the top floor also being used for storage. The lower floor, by the turn of the century was used as a one-room schoolhouse. Water flowed from the springhouse into a large pentagonal pond, known as Sylvan Lake (later reduced in size and renamed Sylvan Pond.)

This chapel is furnished with the pulpit and benches from the Jacob Albright Memorial Church in Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania, so named, as Albright College is, for the 18th-century religious leader, Jacob Albright evangelical preacher and founder of the Evangelical Association. The space currently is used as a quiet place for meditation and also intimate weddings.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Barth, Eugene H. Discovery and Promise: A History of Albright College, 1856-1981. Reading, PA: Albright College, 1989.

Gingrich, R. Wilbur, and Barth, Eugene H. A History of Albright College. Reading, PA: Albright College, 1956.

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

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006