Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

2 mi. S of Spring Green off STH 23

National or State Register of Historic Places
2 mi. S of Spring Green off STH 23 | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Unity Chapel
Reference Number:74000092
Location (Address):2 mi. S of Spring Green off STH 23
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.

Period of Significance:1875-1899
Area of Significance:Architecture
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Religion: Religious Facility
Architectural Style:Shingle Style
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Silsbee,Joseph Lyman
Architect:Wright, Frank Lloyd
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:07/18/1974
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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