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Loveland Chapel (RG 130)

This is a photograph of the sketch of the Loveland Chapel at East Campus of Springfield College. The architect who drew the sketch is Alfred P. Casella, of Agawam. This is the firm who designed the Physical Education Complex for the College. The sketch depicts the back of the chapel, the middle portion of the back has a whole wall of glass and a huge triangle is in the middle of the wall. The biggest difference between the sketch and the real building is that the real building has 12 long strips of stained glass windows instead of a whole wall of glass, which does actually go with the concept of energy saving of the building. Also the triangle was not on the back wall, it is now a stained glass window on the top of the front wall.

Loveland Chapel

In 1946, Norman and Ruth Loveland established a fund for the construction of a chapel on the campus of Springfield College. The intent of the chapel was, in their words, “to help maintain the spiritual character of Springfield College.” Mr. Loveland, a businessman from Bristol, CT, was a man with deep roots at Springfield College. He was a 1924 graduate of Springfield College, a Tarbell Medallion recipient, and had served as a member of the Board of Trustees. From 1946 till their deaths, Mr. Loveland (1965) and his wife, Ruth (1968), the couple made regular contributions to the “chapel” fund. Upon Mrs. Loveland’s death, a lump sum bequest of $275,000 was made to the college. This bequest required that a chapel be built within ten years. At that time, the chapel fund exceeded $350,000. Under the leadership of President Wilbert E. Locklin, it was determined that a chapel should be built on the East Campus. This site was chosen with the intent to establish an active ongoing presence at East Campus.

A task force chaired by Rev. Kenneth Childs was gathered. The task force had representation from Community Education, Department of Recreation, College Campgrounds, Department of Biology, The Physical Plant Department and the Student Body. Among those assisting the task force was Dr. John Brainerd, a retired professor of biology and conservation. He was charged with design considerations with specific emphasis placed on designing a structure that would blend into the woodland setting and utilizing natural materials and design with a focus on energy conservation. 

Alfred P. Casella, of Agawam, was chosen as the architect. Previously, the firm designed the physical education complex on campus. Built of wood and stone, the 5,000 sq. ft. structure incorporates environmental awareness in terms of energy efficiency. Ciocca Construction Corporation of Springfield was chosen as the contractor.

Groundbreaking for Loveland Chapel took place on September 15, 1980 and the chapel was completed in June of 1981. Dedication of the building was held on May 30, 1981. Of special note the dedication recognized the following features that were donated:

  • The Allen Organ - W. Haines Kent, Class of 1924 donated the Allen Organ to the chapel. The organ had been gifted to him upon his retirement as state executive of the Pennsylvania YMCA in 1962. His gift to the chapel was “in appreciation of the four years he spent here preparing for his Y work.”

  • The Gates - The gates, erected on Wilbraham Road at the entrance to the chapel grounds are actually the originally1910 Pratt Field Gates, which had been in storage for over a decade after they were finally removed from their original location. 

  • Stained Glass Windows - Mrs. Vera Brown, sister of Mrs. Carol Loveland, donated a stained glass window in memory of Norman and Ruth Loveland. Another stained glass window, depicting the Springfield College triangle, was donated in honor of Philip W. Breux, Class of 1938, upon his retirement as “a YMCA professional from 1935-1981.”

The building itself was visualized as “an academic chapel” or non-denominational chapel. Its open floor nave could accommodate 150 people. Also incorporated in its utilitarian design was a conference room and apartment that originally was envisioned to be used by an “East Campus Coordinator.” In 1988, under the leadership of President Frank Falcone, Loveland Chapel became The Child Development Center which remains its use to this day.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

 This collection documents the construction, opening, and the history of the Loveland Chapel. The collection contains general information, news articles, correspondence, planning documents, and photographs.  The collection contains memos and meeting minutes on the planning and design of the Chapel. There are also many documents on the dedication ceremonies. Of particular interest is the list of donors for the Allen organ, donated by Haines W. Kent.  Photographs include pictures of the interior as well as the original apartment that existed in the chapel.