In 1952, some friends of my parents had a son at Duke. In preparation for a trip to visit him, they invited me and another girl to join them. I had never been south of WV at that point, so this trip was a cause for great excitement. Plans were to attend the Duke-Carolina Football Game on Saturday and then a performance of Handel's Messiah by the choir at Duke Chapel on Sunday. I had never been anywhere other than Ohio, never attended a football game, and certainly never had I ever been in a church as grand as the one at Duke. The photos here are from a program I picked up there in December of 1952.
The architectural style of the chapel is English Gothic; designed by Horace Trumbauer of Philadelphia, the first services were held there in June 1932. The interior length of the chapel is 291 feet, and I said at the time that if a bride walking down that aisle had a change of heart, she could be turned around and out of the chapel before any of her guests realized she had ever been there.
The chapel has a total of 77 stained-glass windows, with subjects drawn from both the Old and The New Testaments. They were designed by G. Owen Bonawit, Inc., NY.
Little did I know in 1952 that 50 years later, I would be involved in some weddings at Duke Chapel, providing flowers and decor. The experience of seeing that magnificent place, and hearing Handel's Messiah was unparalleled in my life at the time, and perhaps has not been topped since.