Danforth Chapel is back in business. The chapel on the Kansas University campus was rededicated last weekend and declared by Chancellor Robert Hemenway to be "ready for its next 61 years."
Since it first opened in 1946, Danforth has been the site of more than 5,000 weddings not to mention its important role as a quiet place for students and others to pray, meditate or reflect. Now, the new and improved Danforth is ready to serve new generations of Jayhawks.
The chapel's roof was seriously damaged when a microburst struck the KU campus in March 2006. With the help of the KU Endowment Association and some generous local donors - John and Linda Stewart and member of the Gene Fritzel family, plus many others - however, the damaged chapel has been restored and expanded to add a dressing room and hallway to help brides make a suitable entrance on their wedding days.
People who loved Danforth will be happy with the result. The wonderful historical character of the chapel has been preserved and enhanced. The original pews and stained glass windows are still there but a bit brighter after the restoration. The additions were designed and executed in a way that had surprisingly little impact on the historic appearance of the chapel's exterior.
Every university campus has places that hold a special place in the hearts of students and alumni. For KU, Danforth Chapel certainly is such a place. It's great to see it back in tiptop shape.