Lee “Cathedral”

Below are two possible models of the proposed Lee “Cathedral”, as we call it, in and around the early 1920’s. Our team used the blueprints that we acquired from Special Collections to build the models.  Since not every detail was specified, we created two interpretations of the blueprints.  However, if Lee Chapel had been expanded, it would not have looked significantly different from these models.


Lee Cathedral by leechapel on Sketchfab                  Lee Cathedral by ryangrantwlu on Sketchfab

These models show what Lee Chapel could have been; however, in not renovating the building, Washington and Lee kept Lee Chapel as a central and notable building on campus without an intimidating size. Washington and Lee first-years sign the Honor Book in Lee Chapel during Orientation Week, making Lee Chapel one of the first buildings students visit on campus, even before any academic building. Clearly, Lee Chapel is very important to the University.  Visit our Proposed Changes page for primary source critiques of the proposed renovations and our Aerial Views page to see the location of Lee Chapel in relation to the Colonnade.

Interpretive View of Lee Chapel with Proposed Changes

Below is a possible result of Lee “Cathedral” made by using blueprints, SketchUp, and Google Earth.  As you can see from this aerial shot, the Chapel would have stretched to Jefferson Street and would have been one of the largest structures on Washington and Lee’s campus.

Aerial Cathedral SketchUp