About Norton Chapel

Norton Chapel was built in 1964 and named after Dr. Arthur H. Norton, long-time president of Keuka College and a proponent of a large and architecturally significant chapel. It was dedicated Oct. 10, 1964 as part of the observance of the 75th anniversary of the founding of Keuka College. It was constructed to serve as a physical symbol of the centrality of religion in adventurous living, as well as to provide facilities for worship, study, and reflection.

Materials for the building were gathered from distant parts of the United States as well as several foreign countries. The timber trusses are naturally finished laminated Douglas fir grown in Oregon, and the ceiling is cedar decking from the Pacific Coast. The white marble chancel platform was quarried in Vermont, the blown glass spheres in the chandeliers were created in Italy, and the heavy cedar shakes shingles came from Canada. Also, not a single nail was used on the interior construction of the chapel.

A 50-member choir may be seated in the balcony behind the chancel and in front of the 2,469 organ pipes and projected Spanish horns of the 3-manual pedal organ built by the Schlicker Organ Company Inc. of Buffalo. The organ was given as a gift to the College by Mrs. George Shipman Jephson of Cazenovia, as a memorial to her aunt, Evangeline Decker. The organ was dedicated April 25, 1965 with a special recital by David Craighead, head of the organ department at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.

The chapel seats 650 with seating provided in the nave, transepts and a balcony above the narthex.