Architecture

Belmont Chapel exteriorThe Gothic-designed Belmont Chapel,  conceived by George C. Mason & Son Architects was built by William Gosling in 1886. The building dimensions:

  • Nave: 34′ long by 21′ wide
  • Chancel: 16′ long by 11′ wide
  • Bell Tower/Robing Room:

No wood is used in any part of the building except for the roof, domes, and staff heads holding the window sashes. The exterior is built of a rich, warm, reddish-brown sandstone from the Carlisle quarries of Springfield, MA. The stone was laid up rock faced and random squared. The porch and bell stage tower is of stone inside and out. The roof is covered with yellow pine and dark blue slate. The trusses, resting on stone corbels are of yellow pine as well. Copper is used for the gutters, leaders, finials, etc.

Belmont Chapel Mosaic floor detailThe floors are formed of brick arches spring between iron beams and leveled up with neufchatel asphalt and portland cement. They are lead in mosaic tiling, the body of one color, dark brown and the wide border of intricate design in many colors. The steps leading to the chancels are rubbed bluestone.

Belmont Chapel interiorThe walls are wainscoted with dark brown and red enameled brick to the height of four feet. Above the wainscot was plastered directly onto the brick and finished with a rough surface known as “carpet floated,” and will be delicately colored a light green. Throughout the chapel building a double wall has been built with an air chamber between, so that no damp air can find its way into the structure.

Stained Glass Windows:

Belmont Chapel Stained Glass WindowThere are fourteen windows in the chapel building. Five in the Nave, five in the Chancel and four in the Bell Tower. Some of the windows are backed by a yellow protective glass, which makes the effect much darker than would be the case were ordinary plate glass used.

The Chancel Windows, created by E.S. Oudinot of Paris, France include the large window behind the alter and the four small square windows on on either side wall of the chancel. E.S. Oudinot is also thought to have designed the window to the immediate right of the chapel nave entrance.

The three Nave Windows, designed by F. Gardin of Paris, France were made by L.O. Merson of the same city. Made specifically for the chapel they include the window above the front door and the two large windows on either side of the nave. The window to the left of the nave was made by Tiffany and Company. The Bell Tower has four windows, two facing the font of the building and two facing west over the side door.

Chapel description from an August 20, 1887 news article entitled:

The Belmont Chapel, Interesting Description of the Beautiful Altar and Elegant Furnishings

Belmont Chapel AlterThe Belmont Memorial Chapel is completed, so far as relates to the structure, but one after another beautiful feature has been added to the interior, and of these the most striking is the altar, recently placed in the chapel– an exquisite work of art that is the admiration of every one of who has been so fortunate as to see it. It is seven feet in length and is composed of Caen stone and different marbles with onyx columns, the later polished like gems. The center panel bears the sacred monogram, in each of the others there is a cross in relief, and over all are vines delicately carved and tenderly clinging to every point that offers support– cut by hands that realized how beautiful they are and how appropriately used for ornamentation. The corners of the altar are supported by life-size kneeling cherubs, whose flowing robes and graceful wings blend in and make a part of the structure, their hands clasped upon their breasts, and their eyes raised heavenward with a look of love and adoration.

Belmont Chapel dedication detailOn the super-alter of marble there is this inscription: This Chapel Erected to the Glory of God and in memory of Jane Pauline Belmont. Resting upon the super-altar there is a low cross, of the purest statuary marble, adorned with a wreath of flowers that cling around the word “Patience,” cut in relief upon the arms of the cross. This cross was taken from over the grave of Miss Belmont and upon its base is handsomely carved the following: Jane Pauline Belmont, Born April 11, 1856, Died October 15th 1875.

Belmont Chapel Pew detailThe whole is a study, and we are not surprised that many persons, hearing of it, have been attracted to the spot. Another recent feature is the chancel rail, of floriated and highly polished hammered brass, resting upon a sculptured base of Caen stone, over and around which ivies cling, cut by the same hands that so faithfully carried out the design for the altar. The benches in the nave are of oak, each bench having its own design. On one the oak is introduced, on another , the fern, then the wild roses, the hawthorn, and so on; no two being alike. The designs of these beautiful features were furnished by Mr. George C. Mason, Jr. under whose supervision they have been brought to perfection. The altar and other stone work was executed by Mr. Robert D. Kelley of Philadelphia; the brass work by the Joseph Newmann co. also of Philadelphia, and the benches by Mr. Thomas S. Nason, of this city.

*The information on this page is a result of research conducted by Mr. Francis Girr of Newport who compiled details he obtained from several  newspaper articles.