Old and Versatile Chapel Now Acts as Supply Center

Following a colorful past which has seen it used for everything from a medical school to a carpenter shop, the 200 year-old Holden Chapel has been turned into a supply room for the Naval Training School in the Yard and now holds stores of line which are issued to Navy students upon arrival.

The building was constructed in 1744 and cost 400 pounds donated by the widow of Samuel Holden, a British banker. Although it was built resplendent with carvings and other decorations, its career as a chapel lasted only 20 years.

Had Former Military Use

This is not the first time that the Chapel has been used for military purposes, however, for after serving as the Massachusetts House of Representatives during the Revolution, it housed Continental soldiers and, at another time, served as tribunal for court martials.

After duty as fire house, carpenter shop, and lumber room the building was chosen in 1788 as the birthplace of the Harvard Medical School. Its hallowed amphitheater became the carving place for sallow cadavers.

Holden Chapel was then cut up into six rooms and became the site for undergraduate recitations until its excessive dampness discouraged further use in this line.