Oakland Chapel, Alcorn State University

Oakland Chapel, Alcorn State University, Lorman – (1838-1850) (National Historic Landmark). Begun in 1838 as the main building of Oakland College, the chapel is now the oldest building of Alcorn State University, the first land-grant college for African Americans in the nation. As stated in the National Register nomination, “It is a temple-front building, three stories in height, dominated by a raised portico consisting of six columns approximating the
Tuscan order, full entablature, and pediment. A cast iron stair, designed with heavy columnar newels and risers pierced in a floral pattern, rises on the center axis to the main floor. The composition is topped by a cupola designed with fluted Doric columns set between corner piers. A full entablature, with triglyphs, metopes, and mutules, extends uninterrupted around the cupola. The iron steps leading to the portico were formerly the front steps of “Windsor.” While the designer of the building is not known, “skilled black craftsman,” probably slaves, apparently built the chapel.

8 replies

  1. Beautiful it still looks like new great job for those who are taking care of it and for the one that they called “skilled black craftsman” for me you’re still alive because of your handmade skill the chapel that you made and even it is now a University but still you are the only one who made it for 173 years and counting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a 1980 graduate of Alcorn State University. During my years at Alcorn, I spent a many of Wednesday evenings in Oakland Chapel practicing as a member of “The Alcorn State University Gospel Choir”. The chapel is well preserved and well kept today as it was during the years of the 70’s. So good job to the staff, personnel’s and students for continuing to preserve such a beautiful historical building.


  3. The Chapel was the heart of the campus in my years at Alcorn, 1978-1982 and has a special place in my heart. It was in front of the Chapel that I said goodbye to my family when they delivered me to campus in August 1978. As a history major, I had a number of Social Science courses in the basement. It was in the Chapel that President Walter Washington gave the graduating seniors their “charge” – you have received an excellent education, now go out and conquer the world. Whenever I’m home, I visit campus and the Chapel is always on the tour.


  4. What year were the steps moved from Windsor and placed at Oakland?


  5. I agree that it was after 1957. I was first there in the 80s and there were no steps then. If there had been, I would have climbed them! Does anyone know?


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