by Bill Douglas
Director of Alumni Relations
Work began this past summer to repair and restore the St. George’s Chapel’s teak doors and their wrought iron ornamentation. Phase One of the project focused on four of the 10 doors on the main floor that are in the most need of repair: the Architect’s, North and South Slype, and the Altar doors. The photo at right shows the completed restoration of the South Slype doors, which were reinstalled in August.
Made by noted blacksmith Samuel Yellin of Philadelphia in 1927, each distinctive door is original to the chapel. The project will restore the wood finishes and repair the rust and pitting that have damaged the elaborate wrought iron hinges, handles and decorative strapping. Work is being completed off-site by Hammersmith Studios of Newton Upper Falls, Mass.
On a related note, St. George’s was contacted by the Leeds Art Foundation (LAF) in Philadelphia, which is researching a book about Samuel Yellin. The foundation has shared several archival images of Yellin’s original sketches of the chapel doors and their ironwork, which may inform our restoration efforts. A team from LAF visited campus in August to see our collection of Yellin’s work.
Note: Not covered by the operating budget or a specific endowment fund, chapel restoration projects are made possible by the generous and ongoing commitment of the Friends of the St. George's Chapel, our annual, grassroots effort to preserve what many consider the “Heart of the Hilltop.” If you'd like to contribute to the door project and/or the restoration of the chapel please visit www.stgeorges.edu/support.