WADE MEMORIAL CHAPEL in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY is one of Cleveland's most notable structures. The building was constructed 1896-1900. It was dedicated in 1901 to the memory of JEPTHA WADE (1811-90), the founder of Western Union, by his grandson. The structure was designed by HUBBELL AND BENES and JOSEPH CARABELLI, SR., was the builder. Its form is based on that of a Greek temple. A portico, which also acts as a driveway, is supported by Ionic columns. The exterior is light Barre granite, and the entrance features 2-ton bronze doors. The interior is done in white marble, with elements in bronze, marble mosaic, glass and glass mosaic and is an excellent example of collaboration between architect and artist. Many of the interior features were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany's firm and executed at the Tiffany studios in New York. There is complex and detailed imagery to the works on the interior, and certain patterns reoccur throughout for visual harmony. The subject of the interior wall decorations is "The Voyage of Life," a symbolic interpretation of the Biblical doctrines of mortality and immortality. Along the side walls are panels of glass mosaic, 8' by 32', designed by Frederick Wilson. The left-hand panel symbolizes the Prophecy and Law of the Old Testament. The panel at the right represents the Fulfillment and Light of the New Testament through the birth of Christianity. At the front of the chapel is a large stained-glass window designed by Tiffany himself, the "Consummation of the Divine Promise," representing the passing of the soul from earth to heaven. Wade Memorial Chapel is still used for services.

Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

View image in Digital Cleveland Starts Here®

Hubbell and Benes Records, WRHS.


Cleveland Historical Logo

View more on Cleveland Historical

Article Categories