Monday, July 19, 2010

The Wade Chapel

The Wade Chapel, located in Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery, is named in honor of Jeptha Wade, the founder of The Western Union Telegraph Company. It was completed in 1901. The chapel is best known for its interior, which was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and is one of very few interiors in the world designed completely by Tiffany. (The building exterior was designed by architects W. Dominick Benes and Benjamin S. Hubbell, and is in the Greek Revival style.)

The interior is what draws most visitors to the chapel - to see the large Tiffany window titled “The Flight of Souls.” The color and iridescence of the window comes from the Favrile technique Tiffany used while creating the glass by exposing it to chemicals and fumes of molten metals. This method gave the glass the rich color and that special Tiffany opalescence and glow as light shines through.

What visitors may not know is that the interior walls are also covered in mosaic tiles which glow in bright hues as light shines on them. In the dim light of the chapel they do not look as colorful as compared to the Tiffany window, yet light shining directly on them brings out the vibrant color. The murals depict themes from the Old and New Testament.

The chapel is only open from April to November, so it is best to check the Lakeview Cemetery web site for specific days and hours when planning a visit.

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