19 C
Saturday, April 1, 2023

The Rockefeller Chapel : One Of The Most Popular Places You Must Visit In Chicago

Must read

Tourist Attractions: The Rockefeller Chapel, one of the most popular places to visit in Chicago

The Rockefeller Chapel, in Chicago, is the ceremonial and spiritual center of the University of Chicago. It was John D. Rockefeller’s last gift to the University; also his most remarkable gift.

A Gothic Revival Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago, Rockefeller Chapel is the center of spiritual life. It provides interreligious programs that emphasize spiritual practice and community action.

It offers Sunday morning worship, dedicated prayer space for Hindu and Muslim students, community members, meditation spaces and restorative yoga. There is also a shared meeting space for religious student groups.

Rockefeller Chapel

The University Chapels together mark important life events, from weddings and memorials, and they are engines of inquiry for those who seek the architecture and atmosphere they represent.

The chapel is currently used for worship services, university convocations and guest speakers. It also hosts musical programs, memorial services, weddings, funerals and occasional film screenings.

John D. Rockefeller :

Rockefeller, an American philanthropist, was a generous patron of the University of Chicago. He dedicated his fortune towards the advancement of science and medicine. 

In 1890, Rockefeller donated $600,000. to the University of Chicago for its endowment. Rockefeller became an important part of the University.

Rockefeller Chapel

Rockefeller was the founder of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Spelman College was also supported by Rockefeller. This college was named after Rockefellers in-laws who were passionate abolitionists prior to the Civil War.

Monumental Structure:

The patron John D. Rockefeller intended that this monumental structure of Gothic Architecture to be the “central feature” of campus; at 265 feet and 102 feet wide. It is the tallest building on campus with seating capacity of 1700.

The Chapel is 32,000 tons in weight. The walls are made of 72,000 Indiana limestone pieces, and the ceiling has 100,000 pieces of colored Guastavino tile.

The chapel was built without structural steel. It supports 32,000 tons of weight with 56 concrete piers. These piers carry the foundations to the bedrock at 80 feet below the floor. 

Rockefeller Chapel

It also houses more than 100 stone sculptures, as well as a 72-bell bell carillon, which is the second largest in the world. Rockefeller Chapel remains one of America’s most beautiful and impressive ecclesiastical structures.

The Rockefeller Chapel may be a little more complex than your average ecclesiastical structure. This building boasts several notable achievements: one of the tallest towers in the world for 25 years, the longest spire in the United States, the largest organ and choir loft, and the most elaborate stained-glass windows in the Midwest.


The Rockefellar chapel was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue in 1918-1924. It was constructed without the use of structural steel between between 1925-1928.

The chapel houses approximately 70 integrated figural statues by sculptors Lee Lawrie or Ulric Ellerhusen. The interior work was done by Hildreth Miere. 

The woodcarvings on the South balcony and the organ was created by Alois lang. Alois lang was one of the artists who brought back the medieval art of ecclesiastical carving.

The Organ at Rockefeller Chapel

He is a Master Woodcarver at American Seating Co. The Rockefeller Chapel pieces are made from White Appalachian Oak.

Resembling a medieval cathedral in appearance and size, it hosts festivals and ceremonies of many world religious traditions. Sunday services are held here where the stunning architecture is matched by the poetry and drama of grand liturgy from many different origins and the beautiful voices of its choirs.


The exterior of the Chapel is decorated with more than 100 stone sculptures. These sculptures designed by Lee Lawrie, and Ulric Ellerhausen. The sculpture is archaic, but the subjects are drawn from modern life and ancient religious allusions.

Laurens Shull, who was wounded in World War I and carries the arms and uniform of the United States upon his shoulder, is on one side. Margaret Green, who suffered from pneumonia in her senior year at University of Chicago, is on the other.

She holds the troth and the University arms flanked by the troth of truth. They were both leaders in their respective fields and fully connected to the intellectual, spiritual, and religious life at the University.

FAQs About Rockefeller Chapel, Chicago

When was Rockefeller Chapel built?

In 1928 the chapel was finally completed. It was the final gift to the University of Chicago from benefactor and founder John D. Rockefeller, for whom the Chapel was renamed after his death.

Is Rockefeller Chapel open?

Rockefeller Chapel is open to visitors from 11 am to 5 pm Tuesdays to Fridays and 10 am to 1 pm Sundays.

- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article