Miller Chapel, which was originally designed by local carpenter/architect Charles Steadman, has been the center of worship on campus since 1834. In 1894, the chapel was named in honor of Samuel Miller, the Seminary’s second professor. Since it was built, the chapel has been renovated no fewer than four times (in 1874, 1933, 1964, and most recently in 2000). In
1933, in celebration of its 100th birthday, Miller Chapel was moved from its original location beside Alexander Hall to the center of the campus. Rev. James R. Blackwood (Class of 1945) remembers this day vividly. He was fourteen at the time and lived on campus, where his father, Dr. Andrew Blackwood, was professor of homiletics. He describes the move in this way: “The chapel was jacked up, rollers like big Lincoln Logs were inserted under it, and then a great chain was fastened around its base. This chain was attached to a series of pulleys that were connected to a windlass powered by the engine of a large truck. Very slowly the chapel was rolled to its present location.”
Throughout the summer of 1933, the entire interior of the chapel was renovated, with the exception of the balcony. Under the direction of the New York architectural firm Delano and Aldrich, the chapel was enlarged slightly and the Victorian Gothic interior was replaced with an eighteenth century Greek Revival interior, complete with Corinthian columns and pilasters, clear window panes made of a special “antique” glass, and a divided chancel area. The renovation also included the installation of a large Gottfried pipe organ, which required the use of six rooms in the basement to store all of its pipes. The building was rededicated on September 23, 1933, one hundred years to the day after its original dedication.