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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Unity Chapel (DHP photo)

UNITY CHAPEL
Highway County T, Town of Wyoming, Iowa County
Architect: Joseph Lyman Silsbee
Date of Construction: 1886

Unity Chapel, designed by Chicago architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee, is a small, simple building arranged in an L- shaped plan. Designed for minister Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Frank Lloyd Wright's uncle, the Chapel project was a natural assignment for Silsbee's new draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright.

This Shingle style building is covered with a layer of cedar shingles on both the roof and exterior walls and rests on a masonry foundation. A belfry with an unusual shaped hipped roof is positioned between the intersection of both wings. Frank Lloyd Wright assisted with the interior space, designing an open plan with a unique cathedral ceiling. The chapel's simple form reflects a broad architectural movement to reject frilly and fanciful Victorian ornament in favor of simpler designs using natural materials.

The Unity Chapel exemplifies the significant relationship, which developed between Frank Lloyd Wright and his first mentor Joseph Lyman Silsbee. The Chapel cemetery, located adjacent to the Unity Chapel, is the resting place of several generations of the present Lloyd Jones family.

The building is not open to the public.

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