A History of St. Mark’s Chapel

A History of St. Mark’s Chapel, Storrs, CT

St. Mark’s Chapel is located on the campus of the University of Connecticut in the Town of Mansfield in the northeastern part of Connecticut often called the “the quiet corner.”

In 1952 the first clergy-in-charge was appointed by the Bishop of Connecticut and in 1955 the Chapel itself was constructed on land deeded by the University. The Chapel has been expanded three times since initial construction and the building is once again being refurbished with repairs to many of the organ pipes, new windows, and new flooring in the Parish Hall.

The building stands on one and half acres of land on North Eagleville Road, a main thoroughfare of the University. Also known as Faith Row, this area of campus is home to Storrs Congregational Church, the Korean Methodist Church, the Islamic Center, St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church and Hillel.

The Chapel architects, John W. Huntington and Henry Darbee, won an Honorable Mention for its design from the Church Architectural Guild of America. The building is primarily constructed of brick, concrete and steel with all subsequent additions complementing the original design and maintaining the unique lines of the structure.  Thanks to a lofty interior, the acoustics are extraordinary.  Exposed steel trusses in diagonal patterns cap the walls, which slant inward as the rise to the high ceiling.  On sunny days prisms mounted on the trusses send rainbows playing across the white walls and onto the altar.

A twenty foot gold mosaic cross behind the altar focuses the eye, mahogany pews seat about 175 and at the elevated rear of the Chapel stands one of the finest small organs in New England.  This tracker organ, Opus 21, was constructed by master organ builder John Brombaugh and was financed entirely through pledges from the congregation in the late 1970’s.  The organ is regularly used for recitals and special performances by graduate music students at the University as well as by faculty and visiting performers.