Many of you may have never heard of this chapel before, but several of our friends (who have never even been to Hot Springs) actually told us that we just had to go there and check this place out for them... so we did.
Usually those are the kind of challenges that LZ is not to thrilled about doing (especially if) I have never even heard of it before, but in spite of that, I am sure glad that while we were on my National Park "Bucket List" quest in Hot Springs, that we took a couple of days to check out some other things before getting back on the road again.
As you can see from the shots that I have offered here, it was well worth the time we invested to check this place out. We just really thought the place was beautiful and also in a very peaceful setting virtually hidden back in this forested area.
We found out that the Anthony Chapel architects Maurice Jennings and David McKee are partners in the Fayetteville, AR firm founded by E. Fay Jones, an internationally recognized architect who once studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. Jones, who died in August 2004, also had created the inspirational Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, AR, which was selected by members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as the best American building constructed since 1980.
In 1990, Jones received from Britain's Prince Charles the prestigious AIA Gold Medal award for his design. Jennings was Fay Jones' partner for over 25 years and was involved with many of his designs, including Thorncrown Chapel. In recent years, chapels designed by Jennings + McKee can be found in Ann Arbor, MI and Sewanee, TN at the University of the South; however, both architects agree that neither of these structures compare to the Anthony Chapel. According to Jennings, "it is our finest creation to date." We can't tell you how excited we are to see the "new" Chapel section on the web site.
As an aside, retrospectively Mrs. LZ and I had actually had in opportunity to visit the Chapel in Eureka Springs, AR a few years ago when we were on a vacation and staying in Branson, MO.
As for more on the history of the place, Anthony Chapel was officially dedicated in October of 2006. The elegant wood, glass and stone structure, designed by the Jennings + McKee firm, features a soaring 57' ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows that provides beautiful views of Lake Hamilton and the surrounding wooded landscape.
In addition to the chapel, other buildings included in the complex are the Millsap Bride's Hall and the Evans Grooms Quarters. The bridal hall is designed to serve not only as a dressing room for the bridal party but also as a site for receptions and small corporate meetings. The building contains a catering kitchen and comfortable great room area, complete with stone fireplace.
But as if all of this was not enough, there is also this Anthony Carillon which was designed by the nationally acclaimed architectural firm, Jennings + McKee of Fayetteville, Ark., the Anthony Carillon is supported by pillars of steel weighing 2,200 pounds each. The intricate cross-bracing of the columns is made of eight 950-pound members and eight 1,500-pound members. The spacing of the columns allows for activities within and around the open carillon.
According to the architects’ description of the tower, it echoes the form of the obelisks adjacent to some European churches. As with bell towers in traditional churches, the Anthony Carillon will communicate events held at the chapel complex to a wider audience. A metal lantern and speaker box are suspended from the center of the copper columns and designed to chime and play music.
The Anthony Carillon structure itself is a 55-foot-tall, square carillon comprising 16 copper-clad columns, is a gift to the Gardens from the family of the late Garland and Flora Autrey Anthony.
The Gardens’ marketing director, Marla Crider, said visitors won’t have to wait for a special event to hear the bells or listen to music. There is a schedule of carillon performances at specific times of the day during regular operating hours but we heard them on the hour while we were there. So if you are ever in this part of Arkansas and while you are in Hot Springs area specically this stop gets both the Mr. & Mrs. LZ seal of approval."I've just come back from Mississippi and over there when you talk about the West Bank they think you mean Arkansas."
~ Patrick Buchanan