Chapel Renovations Underway
As a place that honors the past, celebrates the present and inspires the future, the chapel and its grounds will demonstrate the transformative power of Dix Park.
On November 4, 2020, Raleigh City Council approved the renaming of "Greg Poole, Jr. All Faiths Chapel" in honor of the late Greg Poole, Jr., whose vision and voice helped preserve our 308-acre site to become a public park.
Build From What is There
Built in 1955, the All Faiths Chapel is a much-beloved structure with significant historical relevancy as part of the Dix Hospital campus. While not a contributing structure to the National Register of Historic Places designated Historic District on the campus, the chapel is an excellent example of mid-century modern architecture. In overall decent condition, the building's decorative wood elements, terrazzo floors, rose stained-glass window, and stainless steel fixtures are all well-preserved.
During the master plan process, we heard from many people that the chapel is an important building to the community. Over the years, the chapel held non-denominational services for the patients and staff of the Dix Hospital campus and was a place of peace and comfort for many who resided at Dix. The chapel also hosted weddings, funerals, retirement celebrations and other gatherings for those connected with the hospital.
As part of the park’s Phase Now project list, the City of Raleigh leased the chapel to the Dix Park Conservancy who is fully funding the renovations through private donations. Once complete, the Greg Poole, Jr. All Faiths Chapel will be the first indoor public space at Dix Park.
Open Up and Connect
Planning and design for the chapel rehabilitation began in early 2020, with on-site construction getting underway in summer 2020. The most significant update needed to the chapel is the addition of a full HVAC system, as the building has been connected to the centralized campus steam system since its construction. Other necessary improvements include restrooms, windows and doors, hazardous material remediation, and ADA access, as well as necessary upfits for office space, improved building security, and event and programming needs.
The grounds of the chapel are also getting a facelift. The front terrace has been redesigned to provide a more clear, open and accessible entrance to the building. To the south of the chapel, the green space becomes a shaded event lawn with built-in seating on its perimeter designed to support outdoor gatherings and activities. Behind the chapel is a walled garden, historically a place of calm and reflection, that will be enhanced with new plantings to liven the space year-round with texture and color.
To welcome and inspire visitors, Dix Park Conservancy is commissioning an art installation for the chapel narthex, or lobby, to honor the park's history. This artwork is not intended to encompass the entire legacy of the park site but serve as an interpretive piece showcasing the breadth of its history and incorporate the significance of the chapel as a place of community, celebration, and remembrance. Thirty submissions were received from artists throughout North Carolina with ideas to create 2D, 3D, standalone, or collections of visual work for the space. A selection committee with members from the City, Conservancy, and Dix Park Community Committee chose five finalists to submit detailed proposals. Artist selection will be made in early November with the completed artwork on view when the chapel opens in early 2021.
Offer Something for Everyone
The newly renovated Greg Poole, Jr. All Faiths Chapel and grounds will provide all the amenities of a modern community gathering space while retaining its historic charm. Beginning in spring of 2021, a variety of events and activities will take place at the chapel including concerts, history lectures, art performances and exhibits, wellness classes, and family weddings. The event lawn, back gardens, and front terrace with views of downtown Raleigh, will provide beautiful and serene settings for coming together as a community.
In addition to Dix Park programs and events, the chapel will be available for event rentals to host family and social gatherings, and community events. More details regarding the rental process and availability is coming soon. Questions regarding chapel programs and events can be directed to park staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.