The interior of Anthony Chapel gives you the illusion that you are still outdoors. Fortunately this feeling stops short of climatic conditions. The air conditioning system works well, a necessary remedy for sticky southern summers. I'm not sure how they did it, but even the acoustics in the chapel seem to be perfect. Perhaps the cacophony of "rafters" break up any untoward echoes.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
It is said that the benchmark question for the appearance of a building is: Does it look like it is supposed to be where it is? When you first see Anthony Chapel in Garvan Woodlandand Gardens near Hot Springs, Arkansas, you blurt out the answer without asking the question. "Wow, that chapel looks like it is supposed to be here."
Under the soaring roof, the ceiling stretches 57 feet from floor to ceiling. The structure's side window walls are from just above ground level to the roof. The end window walls are the same. Skylights let light pour in from above.
And when you walk in, enough of the outdoor illusion persists to make you believe you have not lost touch with the natural surroundings, but now have a comfortable seat from which to enjoy them.
The strong vertical lines of the chapel seem to be an extension of the tall Pine trees surrounding the building. It's as if the chapel sprouted where it is because that's where it was meant to be.
Anthony Chapel is an immensely popular venue for weddings, the fact of which was brought home to bear as I completed the interior shot displayed at the top of the page. During the last few exposures, participants began arriving for a rehearsal prior to nuptials later that day. One woman, probably a parent, seemed a bit concerned that I was there. In my best diplomatic mode, I explained that my work was completed and that I would soon be history. The tension broke and yours truly and family members bantered a bit as I broke down my equipment. Perhaps it was the peaceful atmosphere.
As I was leaving the grounds, I noticed the groomsmen in their penguin costumes strolling toward the Chapel. One had already shed his coat in the extra warm spring sun. Happy that the air conditioning in my pickup was fully functional, I did not envy their next hour or so. But silently I wished them well. Seemed like the thing to do.
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Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.