Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Dorothy Speer Chapel

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Institution Name: LeTourneau University
Original/Historic Place Name: Harmon General Hospital Chapel
Location on Campus: 2100 S. Mobberly Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1943dedicated and opened for services; January 31, 1943 Unknown
1982renovated and renamed Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: pier and beam; wood (floor)
Walls: wood (original frame); transite shingles (original facing); wood (current, interior frame and wainscoting)
Roof: composition shingle
1943-present (2007)chapel

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

Speer Chapel is in excellent condition and continues to be a link to the past, both as the army chapel until 1946 and as the university chapel until 1965. The 1982 renovation, completed with funds from Dorothy Speer, preserved the chapel as a memorial to the 23,405 active-duty servicemen treated at the hospital and to the hospital staff members who served here. A Texas historical marker was dedicated on April 27, 1999 safeguarding the building as a historical treasure. The chapel served Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish servicemen and hospital employees' families during the Second World War. The chapel was also a site for weddings of staff and servicemen and women.

Each August, the university faculty and staff gather in the chapel for the president's state of the university address. It is also the site for university weddings, group meetings, and dramatic and musical presentations.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Durham, Kenneth R. Jr. "Harmon General Hospital." East Texas Historical Journal 38, no. 1 (2000): 25-42.

Durham, Kenneth R. Jr. LeTourneau University's First 50 years. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company, 1995.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library
Government Offices
Other: Gregg County and TX State Historical Commission

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Last update: November 2006