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Section 6

History of the Highland Lawn Chapel

     The chapel is situated on the crest of a high hill commanding a view of the entire surrounding area.  It was beautifully designed by architect Jesse A. Vrydaugh.  It is a very skillful and fine example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture popular from the early 1870s until 1900.  This style is characterized by the use of simple building shapes in dominant compositional themes and particular techniques in the use of rugged masonry materials.

     The plan of the building is a simple cruciform popular for many chapels with exterior forms being simple shapes.  The main body is a massive square with a pyramidal roof rising over it, and three gable roof projections protruding from the main mass with a round apse on the rear.  The mass is further articulated by a round bell tower with a stone domical roof inserted on the corner of the main square and a round chimney tower inserted on another corner of the main square. 

     The interior plan is derived from a simple church cruciform pattern, but adapted to the needs of a cemetery chapel.  The round apse is the crypt room.  There are receptacles for six coffins.  This room is shut off from the chapel by large double doors.

     The windows are all stained glass.  The east and west walls have large round windows in beautiful designs while smaller ones furnished an abundance of light.

     The building was originally heated with a hot air coal furnace in the basement.  The basement has a domed, brick ceiling.  The actual building was built around the basement after the furnace was installed.

     Vrydaugh was commissioned in October of 1892 to design the chapel.  It was finished in November of 1893, costing a total of $10,000.00.

     The chapel was used for funeral services for approximately seventy-five years by the City of Terre Haute.  Historically, it is on e of the few structures of its type remaining in the Midwest today.

     Renovation of the chapel began in June, 1987 and was completed in March, 1988, costing a total of $65,000.00.  Following this detailed renovation, the City of Terre Haute can once again be proud of the Highland Lawn Chapel.

Pictures of the Highland Lawn Chapel

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