St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University
One of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings within Columbia University is, wouldn’t you know it, a church. Or, rather a chapel. St. Paul’s Chapel, by name.
As an Air Force brat, I’m used to chapels and their distinctly multi-sectarian focus. I wasn’t surprised to note that they have Jewish services and even have a Moslem prayer group. I do admit being surprised to see that they actually have a Hare Krishna study group. I don’t know why, but I was.
It was originally founded as a Episcopal chapel, but that’s pretty much gone by the wayside, I’d guess. There’s a printed history outside the doors that details a bit of the chapel’s history. It was designed by Newton Phelps Stokes (and makes the point that he went by “Newt”). Well, Newt thought that St. Paul’s was his masterpiece. The building was started in 1904 and dedicated in 1907.
To be honest, I don’t know if it is a real masterpiece (although I note that it was honored as an official landmark by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966 and probably more than qualifies as one). But I really like the lampposts outside the doors.
There are actually two of them, on on each side of the door. They were donated by the Class of 1883 during the 1908 Commencement. I mean, look at these things. Ain’t they magnificent!