Thorncrown Chapel

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Thorncrown Chapel
Thorncrown Chapel.jpg
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Nearest city Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Coordinates 36°24′59″N93°46′22″W / 36.41639°N 93.77278°W / 36.41639; -93.77278 Coordinates: 36°24′59″N93°46′22″W / 36.41639°N 93.77278°W / 36.41639; -93.77278
Area7.6 acres (3.1 ha)
Built1980 (1980)
Architect E. Fay Jones
Architectural styleModern
MPS Arkansas Designs of E. Fay Jones MPS AD
NRHP reference # 97000452 [1]
Added to NRHPApril 28, 2000

Thorncrown Chapel is a chapel located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, designed by E. Fay Jones and constructed in 1980. The design recalls the Prairie School of architecture popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom Jones had apprenticed. The chapel was commissioned by Jim Reed, a retired schoolteacher. Jones' goal with the building was to make it a pilgrimage chapel set apart in the landscape for meditation. The Thorncrown Chapel was designed off of The Sainte Chappelle (a gothic church in Paris), a very tall structure containing many windows and different types of glass to show more light into the structure. These same methods were used in the Thorncrown Chapel.

Chapel Religious place of fellowship attached to a larger institution

A chapel is a Christian place of prayer and worship that is usually relatively small, and is distinguished from a church. The term has several senses. Firstly, smaller spaces inside a church that have their own altar are often called chapels; the Lady chapel is a common type of these. Secondly, a chapel is a place of worship, sometimes non-denominational, that is part of a building or complex with some other main purpose, such as a school, college, hospital, palace or large aristocratic house, castle, barracks, prison, funeral home, cemetery, airport, or a military or commercial ship. Thirdly, chapels are small places of worship, built as satellite sites by a church or monastery, for example in remote areas; these are often called a chapel of ease. A feature of all these types is that often no clergy were permanently resident or specifically attached to the chapel. Finally, for historical reasons, chapel is also often the term used for independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church, even where in practice they operate as a parish church.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Eureka Springs is a city in Carroll County, Arkansas, United States, and one of two county seats for the county. It is located in the Ozarks of northwest Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,073.

Arkansas U.S. state in the United States

Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.


Thorncrown was included in Budget Travel's "12 Most Beautiful Churches in America" [2] and Bored Panda's "50 Most Extraordinary Churches Of The World." [3] and was selected for the 2006 Twenty-five Year Award by the American Institute of Architects as well as receiving its listing in 2000 on the National Register of Historic Places, [1] a status not granted to buildings fewer than fifty years old unless exceptionally significant. [4]

Twenty-five Year Award architecture prize

The Twenty-five Year Award is an architecture prize awarded each year by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to "a building that has set a precedent for the last 25 to 35 years and continues to set standards of excellence for its architectural design and significance". The Twenty-five Year Award was first presented in 1969, and has been handed out every year from 1971 onward, with the exception of 2018. In 2019, the prize was awarded to the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery in London by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates.

American Institute of Architects Professional association for architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image. The AIA also works with other members of the design and construction team to help coordinate the building industry.

National Register of Historic Places Federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.

Structure and status

Interior 09-02-06-ThorncrownChapel1.jpg

Constructed mostly of wood and other materials indigenous to northwestern Arkansas, the design minimized material transportation costs. They used materials no bigger than what two people could carry (i.e. 2x4s, 2x6s, and 2x12s of Southern pine wood). Though it looks like an open-air structure, the chapel is a glass-enclosed, air-conditioned space. They enlarged the skylight to have a natural ornamentation lighting effect throughout the chapel.

In 2013, the Southwest Power Company (SWEPCO) submitted and subsequently withdrew an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility, [5] granting permission to construct a high voltage transmission line to run adjacent to the chapel. [6] [7] [8]

See also

Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel Church in the United States

Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel is a chapel located along Lake Norwood in Bella Vista, Arkansas, designed by E. Fay Jones and Maurice Jennings and constructed in 1988. The chapel was commissioned by John A. Cooper, Sr. to honor Mildred Borum Cooper, his late wife. The chapel was designed with a mind toward celebrating both God and his creations.

Bella Vista, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Bella Vista is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. First established in 1917 as a summer resort destination, Bella Vista has evolved and redesigned itself over the succeeding years. Bella Vista became a retirement community in 1965, and, after much contention and a 2006 vote of its property owners, became an incorporated city. Following its official incorporation on January 1, 2007, the new city government took over the police department, fire department, streets, trash removal and other city functions, while the Property Owners Association (POA) retained control of the many amenities available to homeowners and their guests. Amenities include numerous parks, clubhouses with workout areas, swimming pools, six 18 hole golf courses, one nine-hole golf course, seven lakes with fishing and boat docks, a marina, swimming beach, putt putt golf courses and tennis courts, dog park, softball field, and extensive hiking and biking trails.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Carroll County, Arkansas Wikimedia list article

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Carroll County, Arkansas.

Related Research Articles

Euine Fay Jones was an American architect and designer. An apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright during his professional career, Jones is the only one of Wright's disciples to have received the AIA Gold Medal (1990), the highest honor awarded by the American Institute of Architects.

Unity Temple church in Oak Park, Illinois

Unity Temple is a Unitarian Universalist church in Oak Park, Illinois, and the home of the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation. It was designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and built between 1905 and 1908. Unity Temple is considered to be one of Wright's most important structures dating from the first decade of the twentieth century. Because of its consolidation of aesthetic intent and structure through use of a single material, reinforced concrete, Unity Temple is considered by many architects to be the first modern building in the world. This idea became of central importance to the modern architects who followed Wright, such as Mies Van Der Rohe, and even the post-modernists, such as Frank Gehry.

Prairie School architectural style

Prairie School is a late 19th- and early 20th-century architectural style, most common in the Midwestern United States. The style is usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament. Horizontal lines were thought to evoke and relate to the wide, flat, treeless expanses of America's native prairie landscape.

Alexander Jackson Davis American architect

Alexander Jackson Davis, or A. J. Davis, was an American architect, known particularly for his association with the Gothic Revival style.

Symmes Mission Chapel United States historic place

The Symmes Mission Chapel was a historic church building in the city of Fairfield, Ohio, United States. A simple structure constructed in the 1840s, it was named a historic site in the 1980s, but it is no longer standing.

Baughman Center

The Baughman Center consists of two buildings located along Lake Alice on the University of Florida campus. The main building is a 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) nondenominational chapel or pavilion, while the other one is an 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) administrative building. The chapel has seating for 96 people and is used for silent meditation, private contemplation, weddings, funerals and memorial services as well as a venue for small musical or performing arts events. The center, named after Dr. George F. Baughman and his wife, Hazel Baughman, the benefactors of the project and is considered an oasis of calm and beauty on the bustling campus. On April 18, 2012, the American Institute of Architects's Florida Chapter ranked the Baughman Center third on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.

St. Johns Episcopal Church (Detroit, Michigan) Church

St. John's Episcopal Church is an antebellum-era church located at 2326 Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It is the oldest church still standing on Woodward Avenue, an area once called Piety Hill for its large number of religious buildings. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1987.

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University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design

The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas offers education in these fields: architecture, landscape architecture, interior design.

St. Marys Seminary Chapel United States historic place

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Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel (Washington, D.C.) United States historic place

The Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel, also known as the Renwick Chapel or James Renwick Chapel, is a historic building in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., United States. Designed by James Renwick, Jr. in 1850, Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel is the architect's only known example of Gothic Revival church architecture in Washington, D.C. It is located on the highest ridge in Oak Hill Cemetery, near the intersection of 29th and R Streets NW. The chapel is one of two structures in Oak Hill Cemetery listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the other being the Van Ness Mausoleum. The chapel, mausoleum, and cemetery are contributing properties to the Georgetown Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.

Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida de Ponce United States historic place

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Vol Walker Hall United States historic place

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St. Sebastians Catholic Church (Sebastian, Ohio) United States historic place

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St. Aloysius Catholic Church (Carthagena, Ohio) United States historic place

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Drake University Campus Historic District United States historic place

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St Pauls Anglican Church, Proserpine church building in Queensland, Australia

St Paul's Anglican Church is a heritage-listed church at 8 Main Street, Proserpine, Whitsunday Region, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by Eddie Oribin and built from 1958 to 1959 by Les Tinsley & Co. It is also known as St Paul's Anglican Memorial Church and Proserpine Church of England. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 11 October 2013.

Shaheen-Goodfellow Weekend Cottage United States historic place

The Shaheen-Goodfellow Weekend Cottage, also known as Stoneflower, is a historic house at 704 Stony Ridge Road in Eden Isle, Arkansas, a resort community on a peninsula jutting into Greers Ferry Lake west of Heber Springs. It is a distinctive Modern structure, designed by Arkansas architect E. Fay Jones and completed in 1965. The main structure is a relatively small rectangular wood frame structure, given vertical emphasis by its placement at the top of a slope and vertical board-and-batten siding. On the lake side of the house a wooden deck projects from the upper level, with vertical railing elements and an outdoor cooking area built in. The house is a clear predecessor to one of Jones' signature works, Thorncrown Chapel, with which it shares design and construction methods, albeit in a smaller scale.

Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church United States historic place

Mount Pisgah Lutheran Church, also known in its early years as the First Lutheran Church and First English Lutheran Church and more recently as The Sanctuary on Penn, is located at 701 North Pennsylvania Street in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The historic church was built by the city's first Lutheran congregation, which organized in 1837, and was its third house of worship. The former church, whose present-day name is The Sanctuary on Penn, is operated as a for-profit event venue.


  1. 1 2 "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. "12 Most Beautiful Churches in America". 21 January 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  3. "50 Most Extraordinary Churches of the World" . Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  4. "How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation," (PDF), National Register Bulletins, National Park Service, 6. Accessed 2009-12-06.
  5. "Online Public Suggestions". Arkansas Public Service Commission. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  6. Meier, Allison (2013-05-02). "Thorncrown Chapel's Ozarks Oasis Under Threat" . Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  7. "Thorncrown Chapel Under Threat". Colossal. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 7 May 2013.|first= missing |last= (help)

Further reading

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