Rockefeller Chapel: Jewel in the Neighborhood — 5* Pix

Total Shots taken 156
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 6 (3.8 %)

Chicago is known for its architecture, and the Hyde Park neighborhood, which is home to two Frank Lloyd Wright homes, is no slouch. In fact, there are many architectural beauties in the neighborhood, and Rockefeller Chapel on the University of Chicago campus is one of them. I saw the interior once before during a wedding, but couldn’t really take it all in.

On this summer day, the sanctuary was open, and greeters welcomed us to walk around. I did so, and slowly absorbed the beauty. It’s gorgeous—the gray exterior does not even hint of the explosion of color and light inside. The bright sun allowed this hidden jewel to shine. Camera in hand, I tried to capture its beauty. I hope you enjoy these 5* selections from my tour.


  • View From Above – Looking down on the vast altar area, you can see organ pipes, the mosaic tiled floor, and ornate woodwork in the background. Even the tile work in this structure is renowned – much of it was created by mosaicist HIldreth Meiere, whose work is also found in Radio City Music Hall.


  • From the Ground – This image, taken from the floor level emphasizes the interior height of this 200 ft. tall building.


  • From the Side – One of my photography instructors told the class “when you are trying to capture an image, walk around, take it from all sides, up close, and from afar. This image is from side, through one of the arches, where you can see the high, arched ceiling in the sanctuary.


  • Grand Sanctuary  – The Sanctuary is breathtakingly beautiful. I love seeing the couple walking in the aisle, seemingly tiny in contrast with the height of the sanctuary walls, and the width of the sanctuary, which seats 1700. The stained glass window at the top of the arched window has the element that made this image ‘speak’ to me, the spots of color reflected on the top of the arch!


  • Shadows – Fleur-de-lys from the decorative grillwork filling the arches behind the altar are highlighted in shadow on the wall behind the altar.


  • Ever Graceful – I like the simple elegance of the candles, the contrast of the ivory against the aged honey color of the wood in the background. The brass holder, with the wax drippings, just add a bit of naturalness – the everyday usage adds to the uncommon beauty of the common object.

I hope you enjoyed this peek inside our neighborhood jewel.

2 thoughts on “Rockefeller Chapel: Jewel in the Neighborhood — 5* Pix

  1. Really love the “From the side” and “Grand sanctuary” shots — they capture what the chapel ‘feels’ like to me. Beautiful shots. 🙂

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