Heinz Chapel & Froggie McFrog

Main entrance – Heinz Chapel

Looking for the little blue frog? You’ve come to the right place. Following in the footsteps of Manja and Joey, I am sitting in for Norm today as your host for Thursday Doors. Norm will be back next week, but the door fest continues in his absence, and the gallery is open for business. As for my contribution, I have something special to share – the doors and windows of Heinz Chapel.

Heinz Chapel is a nondenominational chapel located opposite the Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus. The ‎French Gothic Revival chapel was gift to the university from Henry John Heinz to honor his mother, Anna Margaretta Heinz (all I ever managed to do was to get my mother a card). The following is from the chapel’s website’s history page:

Ground was broken for the chapel in 1933, the cornerstone was laid in 1934, and the building was dedicated in 1938. At the chapel’s dedication, Howard Heinz spoke for his family when he said of the chapel:

“It is located in a community where my father was born and lived his life. It is on the campus of a university. As part of that university, it is dedicated to culture, an understanding response to beauty, and religious worship.”

In that same ceremony, John Gabbert Bowman, Chancellor of the university said:

The chapel is designed as a fitting center of worship which in various ways will rise at the University. The character, intensity, the level of that worship may change from generation to generation. The spiritual tide in men rises and falls. Through these changes though, the Chapel will stand, calm and undisturbed.”

Although Thursday Doors is a weekly celebration of doors, I have to include windows in the gallery today because the stained-glass windows of Heinz Chapel are remarkable. Again, from the website:

The 73-foot transept windows, among the tallest in the world, represent the character traits of tolerance, courage, temperance, and truth. A symbol of each trait is in the tracery. The windows, which highlight an equal number of women and men, contain sacred and secular figures from history, literature, and science. A rosette above each set of windows contains a red-winged seraph on the north and a blue-winged cherub on the south.

If you want to see the doors and windows of Heinz Chapel, click on any image in the gallery to start a slide show. If you are here to share your doors, or if you simply want to look at beautiful doors from all over the world, click the little blue frog. He will guide you to the master gallery. I will check in on every Thursday Doors post, but I may be late in getting to them, as I am busy with a construction project. Thank you for joining us today, and if you have been thinking about participating (but haven’t yet, or haven’t in a while) I would urge you to join us next Thursday, October 11th when Norm Frampton, the benevolent and inspiring host of Thursday Doors, will return.


  1. This is a magnificent building. Mother’s don’t get gifts like this anymore 😉

    I’ve always loved that name “Cathedral of Learning” and it’s fitting that this beautiful chapel is within its sights.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay! Now I know who is hosting this week to link. This church has such a medeival feel to it, Dan. You can definitely see the German influence. I am a fanatic for stained glass. The doors are so beautfiul too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those windows are absolutely staggering and the chapel looks very beautiful. Thank you for hosting Thursday Doors this week, the three of you have done a sterling job in Norm’s absence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. The chapel is so nicely paired with the Cathedral of Learning. The doors really are magnificent but it’s hard to ignore those windows. Like you, I am partial to the arched doorways.


  4. My expectations of Mother’s Day will soar after I tell my family about this post, yeah? :P
    I really like this quote, “The spiritual tide in men rises and falls.”
    The doors are lovely. The northside handicap door, with its texture, is probably my favorite here. Truly, though, the windows are phenomenal! Love the bevels of the stone with the glass. Arcs inside arcs inside arcs. You captured this place beautifully!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joey – Yeah, get ready for Mom’s Day goodies!

      There is so much history and so many references carved into the tracery around those windows, and depicted in the glass – they really nailed the vision they had for this chapel. And, they built it to weather the changing interests and varying cultural shifts, and it worked. They get tons of visitors and over 150 weddings each year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Magnificent is most definitely the word to describe this church. This is the kind of place I like to enter and have total silence. It seems almost to sacred to say a word inside.


    • Thanks Sharukh. The windows are beautiful, and they tell such interesting stories. There are so many people and places represented in them, both religious and secular, but all in very good taste.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A truly magnificent-looking chapel, Dan. But I have to be honest — I’m not quite loving those exterior doors! At least not on THIS building. Typically I like a nice dark red statement door, but for some reason, for me, they’re just not matching this chapel. I think the rounded edges shape is really throwing me off… But fantastic pictures today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Wendy. I never thought about the colors. I’m not sure what might work better, but then again, my opinion on colors is always suspect. In any case, it has always been the windows that made my day when I visit this chapel.


    • Thanks Janet. Hosting has been fun, and I like being able to give a little back to Norm. I’ve long wanted to feature this chapel, but the stars haven’t aligned for us. The first time Faith and I were there, our camera batteries died once we got inside. On other visits, there have been weddings. This time is was open for tours.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great job with this photo presentation of the chapel. I love so many of these photos. Remarkable building all around. I also see that you are now plopping the watermark to your photos. I used to do that but don’t any more, too much hassle. May I ask what spurred you on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Manja. As unlikely as it is that the copyright will help, I found on of my photos being used on another (commercial) site. I would have given them permission, if they had asked. I use Lightroom, so, once I got the image in the right place and the right size, it’s just a setting. It’s automatically placed on whne I export the lower resolution images.

      The chapel is remarkable. I’ve loved it since I was a little kid. The windows seemed even bigger then, but they still are amazing to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. In all the things they did, they seemed to anticipate the way things would change over time. I think it’s so interesting that in the 1930s, they featured an equal number of men and women from history.They included religious, secular, and historic references in the windows and in the carvings around the windows. They also included seals from major universities around the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan, wow. Thank you so much for sharing the chapel with us and the Cathedral of Learning. Makes me wonder whether Australia should have its very own Cathedral of Sports. I really loved the stained glass window toos and you’ve done a fabulous job with the lighting in your photos. They’re fantastic.
    Thanks for hosting and hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rowena. I struggled with the light, because it was raining and very dark outside, but I found settings that I liked.

      I’ve featured the Cathedral of Learning on several occasions, I had classes in that building during graduate school.

      Hosting is my pleasure. I hope you have a great week, too.


  9. You’re doing a fine job as host, Dan. Wow that nondenominational chapel has a truly lovely door. I guess it would have to, being in the shadow of the beautiful Cathedral of Learning. Such amazing places. Thanks for the photo tour. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a magnificent building! The doors are lovely… but oh those windows! I wonder how the craftsmen (I assume men) were able to create such tall stained glass panels… in place, or put together elsewhere, then installed? Either way, it would be quite a production.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I’m so glad you enjoyed this.

      I’m guessing the windows are assembled from multiple panels. The designer worked in Boston, so it seems they would have had t travel quite a distance. There are so many windows in the Chapel in addition to the huge transept windows. The chapel is filled with carvings, in stone and wood – it’s really remarkable.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Holy moly Dan, you really outdid yourself on this one. This building, inside, outside, every nook and cranny, is just magnificent! The heavy, solid doors, the arches, are beyond beautiful. Even the bathroom doors are handsome!

    But those windows! I don’t know how they accomplished those unbelievably gorgeous windows, but they are truly works of art. I keep going back just to look at them. The craftsmanship and pride that went into this building is reflected in every inch of it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You made my day!!

    Of course, now I’m gonna have a real hard time next May being happy with my Mother’s Day card!! Lol.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Ginger. They have eight months, maybe they could make a start on something small.

      The building really is amazing, and they planned everything down to the last pane of stained glass to fit well in this special setting.

      I was happy to get the pictures of the doors, but the windows really are the star of this show. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post.


  12. A magnificent gift – wow -love the stained glass windows, and of course the Gothic architecture is my fave! Oh my- “the truth shall set you free” is well put in this time:):) As always a great intro (text) – Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Dan – both amazing buildings … I’d love to see them. Those windows are tall … while the close up in Wiki of the Tympanum and main doors is quite extraordinary. Delightful architecture to see – grand buildings. Wonderful – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Christine. It was a dreary day, but even with a little bit of light, those windows just come alive. I’m glad you liked the reflection. I was hoping to get a better one, but the rain picked up again.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jean. The windows are amazing. I remember seeing them when I was a young child. They seemed almost too big.

      Hosting has been fun. I’m heading back out there in a few minutes.


  14. One of the prettiest chapels in the US I think! I had the pleasure of attending a wedding in Heinz Chapel a few years back so for a little bit I did have time to sit and take in all it’s beauty. The red doors outside are just magnificent!!! Thanks for hosting this week Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you can relate to this post.

      Sitting inside for a service, I always found it hard to pay attention. It would be a beautiful place to get married.

      Hosting was my pleasure.


  15. What a glorious building! It’s amazing, how it manages to be both soaring and cozy. Every solitary detail dovetails with every other detail, and the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Great work, on the part of the designer, and on the part of the donor for funding the best job imaginable. Comparisons are odious, but how is YOUR construction project coming along? Even better, I’ll bet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked this. No stained windows for my workshop, but we’re making progress.

      The design of this chapel is incredible. Every little detail was planned. Window images, carvings in stone, in wood, inside, outside, they thought of everything.


  16. I attended Duquesne University, another Pittsburgh school, for three semesters in the early 70s and was able to visit Heinz Chapel. If you go inside on a sunny day, the entire chapel lights up blue–my favorite color, which just adds to the atmosphere of reverence in there. I was determined to get married there., but when I left Duquesne to attend school closer to my New Jersey home, I also broke up with my Pittsburgh boyfriend, who’d gotten tired of me. I met someone new and got married in the church in our hometown.

    Liked by 1 person

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