Chapel and New Gate at the Arlington National CemeteryNational Archives Record Group 135-SAR
“The Quartermaster Corps of the Army designed and constructed this chapel at Fort Myer and also built the new entrance gateway to the National Cemetery. The chapel is used for religious services at the post and also for rites in the cemetery. It is a brick building with wood cornice, an entrance porch of four stone columns, and a wood spire which rises to a height of 97 feet. The gateway with its brick posts, wide iron gates, and iron lamps ties into the wall surrounding the cemetery. The chapel was completed in May 1935. The P.W.A. allotment for it was $101,724 and the allotment for the gateway was $3,514.50.” (Short & Brown’s survey of PWA architecture projects between 1933 and 1939)
A 1998 Technical Report by the US Army Corps of Engineers notes that this construction project was part of a host of “New Deal programs [that]…resulted in a construction boom on Army installations. Installations increased in size as training areas expanded. At Fort Myer, new officer housing resulted. The NCO housing on Sheridan Avenue represents the effort to improve installations nation-wide. The Georgian and Colonial Revival elements of the buildings are typical of the construction on Army installations during this era.“
The Historic Fort Myer website explains that “over time,…this one building would become the iconic representation when one thought about Fort Myer. It was the focal point proudly occupying the center of the garrison’s insignia. In addition to providing a place for worship for the Fort Myer Military community, it hosted many weddings and also provided the starting place for many of the final honors which would end in adjacent Arlington National Cemetery. It is also known for its unique stained glass windows.”
Researcher Frank da Cruz notes that “[t]oday, this building is called the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer and it is still in use for military funerals,” and that “It is only one of a series of New Deal buildings at Fort Myer.”
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Batzil, Samuel A. 1998. Fort Myer, Virginia: Historic Landscape Inventory. Champaign, IL: U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories.
National Archives Record Group 135-SAR
Project originally submitted by The Living New Deal on February 12, 2012.
Additional contributions by Brent McKee, January 12, 2018.
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