Restoration work at Duke Chapel began on May 11, 2015, and is scheduled to last for about a year. As a result many events and services usually held in the chapel are being hosted elsewhere on campus.
Q: When is Duke Chapel closing?
A: The Chapel building has been temporarily closed since May 11, 2015, and events throughout the academic year relocated.
Q: Where are Chapel offices located?
A: Please see the Chapel staff page for an updated list of resoration locations.
Q: Where will Sunday Worship Services take place?
A: Sunday morning worship services are being held in Page Auditorium on West Campus during the 2015-16 academic year. The Choral Vespers and Choral Evensong services are being held in Goodson Chapel in Duke Divinity School.
Q: Why is Duke Chapel closing?
A: In 2012, a small piece of tile fell from the Chapel ceiling. The building was then closed for the brief period of time it took the team of structural engineers, materials scientists, and architects from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) to remove the pews, set up scaffolding, and survey and stabilize the ceiling. The report from WJE recommended that the University complete additional restoration work to address issues stemming from original 1932 construction techniques. WJE, whose current projects include restoration of the Washington Monument and National Cathedral necessitated by the 2011 earthquake, have designed the restoration work required to preserve and maintain the beauty and use of the Chapel building for future generations.
Q: What work is being done?
A: The restoration project will rehabilitate the ceiling, replace the roof, restore several stained glass windows and much of the woodwork, and clean the floors and walls.
Q: Will the walkways around the Chapel remain open?
A: Yes. While there will be construction barriers around the Chapel, pedestrian traffic will continue to flow on all sides of the building during the restoration project, except for brief periods of time when one walkway at a time will be closed.
Q: When will the Chapel reopen?
A: The Chapel is schedule reopen in May of 2016.
Q: Why can't the Chapel stay open as the National Cathedral has during its restoration?
A: Everything that can be removed from the Chapel nave must be removed (including the pews!). Mortar drilling and replacement will produce dust that could damage the finer instruments of the Chapel (the organs must be sealed). After the repairs, the entire nave must be thoroughly dusted before the interior furnishings can be restored and cleaned.
Q: Will events and services still be streamed online?
A: Yes, the Chapel’s Media Ministry will continue during the closure. People unable to attend services in person can watch and/or listen weekly to services the following ways:
- WDNC Radio AM 620 (live)
- WPTF Radio AM 680 (the following Saturday at 10 a.m.)
- Chapel YouTube channel (live and recorded)
- iTunesU (sermon recordings)
- Duke Hospital channel 12 (live and recorded)
- Campus cable channel 1-3 (live and recorded)
- Peoples Channel cable channel (11 a.m. on Wednesday)
- Durham Community Media cable channel (7:30 p.m. on Wednesday)
Q: Where will Duke weddings take place during the closure?
A: Weddings will not be offered by the Chapel during the closure; however, the University will give special preference to Duke affiliates for weddings at the Washinton Duke Inn and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens during the restoration project. Beginning in the summer of 2015, the Chapel Wedding Coordinator will begin accepting reservations for ceremonies in the Chapel in the summer of 2016. As always, these sign-ups will take place one year in advance of the wedding month (for example, July 2016 reservations will be accepted starting July 1, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.).
*Please note: Goodson Chapel, in the Divinity School, is reserved exclusively for the ministries of teaching and worship, and thus, will not be made available for weddings during Duke Chapel's closure. No exceptions may be made to this policy.
Q: Where will Duke funerals take place during the closure?
A: Duke Chapel is diligently working with the University to determine the best location for funerals as needed.
Visit this page or sign up for event emails for updates.
Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919.681.9488 with pressing questions or concerns.
More information on restoration and closure projects across Duke's campus is available at the Duke construction website.