Historic Washington Memorial Chapel in need of repairs

- There's a history lesson at the Washington Memorial Chapel but it's showing its age and is need of crucial repairs.

FOX 29 Photojournalist Bill Rohrer has the story.

There may not be too many people who know the history of the Washington Memorial Chapel as well as Gardiner Pearson.

"All the craftsmanship was done by American immigrants. It is a quiet place. It was meant as a place of prayer and contemplation," he told FOX 29.

For nearly a hundred years the chapel has stood overlooking Valley Forge National Park. It was originally built as a tribute to George Washington and the American Patriots of the Revolutionary War.

“When people come here they feel its beauty,” Pearson explained.

The beautiful red and blue stained glass windows—a private history lesson of sorts—are viewed by over 50,000 visitors each year.

"The Washington Memorial Chapel incorporates some of the finest craftsmanship of America of the turn of the 20th century," Pearson said.

But if you take a closer look you will find water is washing the Chapel away.

"Water coming through the stone stripping out the minerals that are in the stone and leaving them on the exterior of the stone," said Griggs.

Jason Griggs is the chairman of the campaign restoration for the Washington Memorial Chapel

 "You can’t turn a corner without seeing something that needs to be repaired" he said.

The chapel needs to raise four and a half million dollars—to fix the roof and restore the limestone walls.  Without the repairs the Memorial Chapel will have to shut down.

"I think we would have a major gap in American culture. Some of the artwork is irreplaceable," Pearson said.

 Help save the chapel Donation boxes are set in place and every little bit helps.

"Tells the story of the founding of America," Pearson explained.

 

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