Battell Chapel

Yale University : New Haven, CT

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Yale University : New Haven, CT

The architect Russell Sturgis built Battell Chapel for Yale University in 1876. It was much admired then for its gilding, bright stenciling, mosaic tile art, painted and oiled woodwork. In the 1920’s, however, the Victorian interior was painted over to emulate stone, as Yale turned to a Collegiate Gothic style.

Engaged to renovate the chapel, our research yielded clues to the original design and convinced us that Battell needed to be returned to its original state. Yale agreed. We replicated the original stenciling in gold leaf and fifteen painted colors, refurbished the wood paneling and pews, re-upholstered seat cushions, installed new carpeting, and replaced the brass railings in the balconies.

We modified the apse, the focal point of the Chapel, to accommodate a small orchestra or small religious service. Retaining the character of the original lighting, we restored the original chandeliers, designed new wall sconces reminiscent of the original gas jets, and cleaned and installed new mechanical and lighting systems.

Awards

National Honor Award for Design Excellence, American Institute of Architects
Honor Award for Design Excellence, American Institute of Architects/CT

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