Design Drives Function
The proposed renovations to Lee Chapel were rejected after much debate, but they still stand as an important piece of the Chapel’s history due to the extent to which they would have changed not only Washington and Lee’s campus, but the City of Lexington as a whole. Visit our 3-D models to see the stark contrast between Lee Chapel and the proposed Lee “Cathedral”, as we call it.
Below and to the left is the floor plan for the proposed renovation to Lee Chapel. The renovations would have enlarged the building as much as possible, given the road structure in the town of Lexington. See the map on the right for an idea of the extent of these changes in comparison to the original part of the Chapel.
In the faded blue sketches below, it appears that the renovations would have relocated the clock tower, which currently sits at the front of Lee Chapel. The sketches seem to show that the renovations would have at least doubled Lee Chapel’s size. The architecture for the expansion appears to be the same style as much of the rest of Washington and Lee’s campus, thus giving the Chapel a slightly new architectural character. Columns would have been constructed in the new edition and also added to the front and sides of the original chapel.
Proposed Sketch of new Chapel
This sketch of the proposed expansion of Lee Chapel was probably an earlier model, as it does not match the official blueprints for the renovations. Even though the sketch may not be completely accurate to the blueprints, it clearly shows the purpose of the renovations: drastically enlarging Lee Chapel.