About The Chapel
"A large contribution and promise for complete funding from San Angelo rancher and oil man, Robert G. Carr, made it possible to add the beautiful chapel. Completed in 1954, Robert Carr Chapel, with its 137-foot spire, has become a TCU landmark and can be seen from high-rise windows in downturn Fort Worth. The chapel incorporates a number of design elements from American Colonial churches, recommended by the wife of the president, Mrs. Frances Sadler, who traveled throughout the eastern states studying both architectural and decorative styles. The results of her research and the high quality of her taste are reflected in the simple elegance of Carr Chapel.
Ionic stone columns support the predimented entrance portico; cornices here and elsewhere around the walls are underscored with deep dentils. The spire is an exact replica of the one atop the famous Old Lyme Church in Connecticut, and the appointments in the chapel interior continue the replication of early American structures. The brass chandeliers are after the design of those in St. Michael's Church in Charleston, South Carolina; the pulpit is patterned after those in King's Chapel of Boston & Christ Church in Cambridge. The arched heads of the Palladian windows that grace both the chapel and the cloister walls reflect the style of Mount Vernon and a church in Watertown, Massachusetts. Dark mahogany, white, and deep scarlet enhance the interior simplicity of this quiet place of worship.
The present organ in Carr Chapel was built by the Ross King Organ Company of Fort Worth. It replaced, in 1979, the original two-keyboard, fourteen-stop Reuter organ. The King, valued at $295,000, has three keyboards and thirty-six stops. The chapel carillon, built by the Cincinnati firm of Verdin, was installed in 1984, replacing an earlier one provided by Robert Carr. The carillon is electronic, not, as one would expect, a cast-bell mechanism. Through an architectural omission, the chapel tower will not accommodate the hoisting of bells, and architectural design further prohibits renovation for tower bells. But the Verdin carillon that plays the short measures of eh TCU alma mater before striking each hour is a close approximation to cast bells and the tonality is clean and clear.
The chapel is in constant use for student worship services, campus memorial services, and as a classroom for student preachers. It is also heavily booked throughout the year for wedding ceremonies."
-Excerpt from "Walking TCU: A Historic Perspective" by Joann Hewitt Swaim, 1992
The installation of an expanded sound system was finished in June 2010. In August 2013, the chapel obtained a brand new Mason & Hamlin piano. These additions provide state of the art sound quality and accommodate the many events in the chapel.