Posted on November 6, 2013
Posted by John Scalzi
Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago, November 2013.
Oh, I like this one, John!
I got married here, and would highly recommend it as a venue. They have an incredible organ and organist. It’s also incredibly pretty on the inside. If you’re in the neighborhood on a Wed afternoon, check out Tea and Pipes: https://arts.uchicago.edu/content/tea-pipes-3
Lovely photo — I second the recommendation of it as a wedding venue. My brother was married there and the reception was at Quadrangle Club (the unversity’s faculty club), another lovely space.
Praise John from whom all blessings flow…
Oops–that was meant to be OIL blessings.
Not feeling rock solid on my facts, but I believe that Fritz Leiber’s story, “When the Change Winds Blow,” though set entirely upon Mars, featured an appearance by the Rockefeller Chapel. (So hard to do SF research when I’m at work and the books are at home!)
Humble request for advice from our host:
Our older daughter is in grade 12, primarily looking at schools here in the northeast, but has gotten the attention of the University of Chicago among other schools farther away. I’ve told her that if Chicago is interested in her, she should give it some consideration – BUT its admission office’s approach is too cute by half! First she signs up to receive a t-shirt, then they send one sized for a mouse, then two weeks later they send another one her size (accompanied by a “ha ha, sorry about that” letter).
Getting prospective students to roll their eyes at you is counterproductive, it seems to me. Should I advise her to apply despite the silliness of Chicago’s recruiting efforts?
The U of C is one of the great universities in the world, so yes, she should probably give it some thought. That said, I think it’s okay for her to focus on the schools she is most interested in.
My parents got married there on November 5, 1949. I was born 7 years to the day later. We still have the program outlining the service and my mother’s garter, its elastic still good as new.
Very nice picture. Love the contrast!
My recollection yesterday was correct. James Roth’s cover art of the Rockefeller Chapel appeared on the August 1964 issue of F&SF, illustrating Fritz Leiber’s “When the Change Winds Blow.” It’s not a one-to-one take on the chapel; I’d say he painted from memory or from description rather than a photo — but it is likely the only time a university chapel has appeared on the cover of a major science fiction magazine.
I love this blog.
I looked up the organ in this chapel and it is a superb example of a restored EM Skinner organ. This company built some of the finest organs extant in the United States. Some have been lost but hopefully more of them will be restored. They are very expressive and powerful instruments that work very well with the classics of organ repertoire but really shine with orchestral or romantic works.
I then looked on YouTube for a performance on this organ, found one, and came across an artist called Stephanie Trick. She is a really good organist. She also happens to be a great stride piano player. Like Skinner’s organs, stride piano is a uniquely American gift to the world of music and she is one of the better players.
It is really amazing how similar the classic college chapels are — cut from the same mold. Your picture made me instantly think of King’s College chapel at Cambridge University http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinsji/169054695 and the chapel at Princeton University. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2582/4170336541_9c68d5194f_z.jpg
It’s been brought up before, but you’ve had a number of photos over the years that could have been the basis for good book covers. This is another.
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Athena Scalzi, contributor – AMS
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