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by Barbara A. Chaapel

Not with the sound of a spade striking earth, but with a song — so, fittingly, began the restoration and renewal of Miller Chapel. As the Touring Choir intoned the beautiful notes of Alexander Brent Smith’s “The Call” on the chapel steps, trustees, students, staff, and people from the Princeton community gathered the day after graduation to mark a new beginning for the building that is the spiritual center of the campus. The board has undertaken a $6 million capital campaign to support the effort, and is already $4 million toward its goal. Work begins this summer and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2000. Because of the renovation, the chapel will not be used for the 1999-2000 academic year. The Seminary community will gather for daily worship in the auditorium of the Mackay Campus Center.
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Architects and renovation committee members look forward to seeing their plans take form in concrete, stone, and wood. They are (standing, left to right) Martin Tel, Anne Weber (architect), James Gatsch (architect), Paul Fritts (organ builder), Michael Farewell (architect), Michael Schoering (architect) and (seated, left to right) Joel Mattison, Kathryn A. Johnson, James F. Kay, Rosemary Hall Evans, Fredrick F. Lansill. Not pictured: James C. Deming - Photo: Chrissie Knight
After more than two years of study, the Board of Trustees approved renovation plans for a renewed and beautified Miller Chapel and construction plans for a handsome companion building, separate from but adjacent to the chapel on the Mercer Street side.

The companion building, which will be named Scheide Hall to honor longtime PTS trustee William H. Scheide and his wife, Gertrude, will house the Seminary’s music program, as well as the offices of the campus pastor and a counselor. It is an especially fitting way to honor Scheide, a world-renowned Bach scholar who founded the Bach Aria Group and who owns one of the world’s largest collections of Bach manuscripts.

The chapel’s exterior will remain essentially unchanged. Its Greek revival facade, highlighted by the portico with its striking Doric columns, will continue to welcome worshippers. Its interior, which has undergone several renovations and changes in style over the decades, will be restored to the “one-room” worship space of Charles Steadman’s original design. The Corinthian columns that flank the present chancel will be kept and incorporated in the restoration.

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