Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Merner-Pfeiffer-Klein Memorial Chapel

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Institution Name: Albright College
Original/Historic Place Name: Merner-Pfeiffer-Klein Memorial Chapel
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1958-1959original construction Muhlenberg Brothers Burkey Construction Co.
2003restoration; organ Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: masonry
Walls: brick (exterior); limestone (exterior, facing); stained glass; walnut (interior, narthex)
Roof: slate
1960-present (2007)academic department building (religion; philosophy)
1960-present (2007)other (chaplain's office)
1960-present (2007)chapel

Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Merner-Pfeiffer-Klein Memorial Chapel was built to be the center of religious life and a venue for cultural events for the campus community. The 900-seat chapel, dedicated in 1960, was named in honor of donors, Henry and Annie Merner Pfeiffer (who were also benefactors of the Merner-Pfeiffer of Science) and Albright College president, J. Warren Klein. Built of local red brick and faced with Indiana limestone, the building has nine non-representational stained glass windows on each side of the nave. The two-story brick and walnut-paneled narthex has a staircase on either side that leads to the choir loft.

The departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy have classrooms on the lower level, where the Chaplain's Office is also located. The 40-rank Schantz organ has 2,345 pipes is considered one of the finest in the Reading area. It was installed in 1965 and restored in 2003.

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

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Last update: November 2006