Monday, August 03, 2009

In Plain Sight | Island Chapel

On a little island in the middle of one of our 10,000 lakes, a little Minnesotan Taj Mahal overlooks the landscape. Originally envisioned as both a shrine to the Holy Mother and as a burial place for its benefactress, Wilhelmine Coolbaugh, the modest Island Chapel looks out on one of the grandest vistas at the campus of Northwestern College in Roseville.

The chapel was completed in 1926, and while it may be diminutive in size, Coolbaugh’s vision (and wealth) ensured it would not be short on quality. Designed by architects Maginnis and Walsh, the chapel is constructed of a granite base, marble floor, double limestone walls, and hardlead roof cresting.

Today, even though the ornate stained glass windows have been removed (along with Wilhelmine’s remains), Island Chapel is a tiny, beautiful relic in a large, beautiful landscape.

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