Constructed in 1938, the Our Lady of Peace Chapel served as the Williams family’s private chapel for decades until their estate went up for sale in 2015. With the chapel slated for demolition, the family donated the chapel to Xavier University to preserve it for future generations.
The small, 22-seat chapel is now located at the end of Xavier’s Academic Mall, replacing a former campus eyesore – a remnant of Herald Avenue that once cut through the university’s campus - with a new destination surrounded by contemplative gardens and green space and strengthening the mall’s connection to Dana Avenue.
To maintain its architectural and historic construction methods, approximately two-thirds of the chapel was relocated via a gantry system and flatbed truck to the new site. All elements that were deconstructed were documented, photographed, numbered and salvaged for reinstallation at the new site.
Some small, but important, modifications were made to allow the chapel to function as an independent structure. A new sacristy was designed to match the scale and proportions of the front entry portico, utilizing salvaged stone and slate roof tiles. Two new stained glass windows, made with the same glass and by the same studio as the originals, were added on the northwest elevation to bring in more natural light. A geothermal system was installed to support new VRF units hidden within existing radiator covers inside the chapel. Additionally, new liturgical furnishings were designed for the space.