The Chapel at St. Aloysius
Beautiful and historic, this Gothic-inspired chapel is located on Bond Hill in Cincinnati and shares deep roots with the history of St. Aloysius as well as the surrounding community.
The Chapel at St. Aloysius, formerly the Chapel of The Holy Family, has deep ties with the history of St. Aloysius. Once used to conduct religious services at St. Aloysius, The Chapel is now a non–denominational church that hosts weddings and special events.
Built in 1855, the Chapel of The Holy Family was located on the second floor of St. Aloysius Orphanage where it stayed for 68 years. As the orphanage population grew, the spaces occupied by the old chapel were needed for additional dormitories. Perhaps the biggest change that has occurred since St. Aloysius was first built in Bond Hill was the removal of the chapel from the main building and the 1923 addition of a new chapel at the north end of the building.
Two, stained glass windows on the second floor of the main building are the only remaining traces of the original chapel.
The new Chapel is a front–gabled, Gothic–inspired design in coursed ashlar limestone with a cross–shaped plan. Designed by Kunz & Beck, architects, The Chapel contains cut stone installed by the David Hummel Building Company and iron work from L. Schreiber & Sons who were in business in Cincinnati from 1854 until 1962. Their architectural ironwork can be found in buildings across the United States.
Since its construction, The Chapel at St. Aloysius has strived to stay true to its historic roots. While it was being used in a religious aspect, it was blessed with a giving congregation that saw to its maintenance and upkeep. Some of the modifications and work completed during that time included the addition of the front altar in 1953 and a complete repaint of the interior by the prestigious Greiwe Studio, a firm that specializes in renovating Cincinnati churches and chapels. Kept in excellent repair, The Chapel served as a place of hope and comfort for generations of children and families.
Transition to Present Day
Reawakening a Community Landmark
Orphanages began to phase out in the 1980s due to State emphasis on foster care. The children in the care of St. Aloysius were provided housing until such time a suitable family could be found. By the late 80s, formal religious instruction was no longer provided at St. Al’s, nor was mass offered. With that, the use of the Chapel declined as did the necessary repair work and upkeep.
In the late 80s and 90s, The Chapel was used primarily for weddings and small events. In the early 2000s, it began to experience more severe weathering and roof damage as did the rest of the buildings on the Bond Hill Campus. With a small agency budget for maintenance, the emphasis had to be placed on classroom and office safety.
An emergency grant in 2010 afforded us the opportunity to put a new roof on the Chapel, which has slowed much of the deterioration. A generous gift in 2014 is allowing us to make critical repairs on the infrastructure, exterior walls and begin the restoration work.
In spite of these issues, the love of this beautiful and historic landmark continues. We have grown to well over 150 weddings each year generating an alternative revenue stream for St. Aloysius. The remodeling of the rooms adjacent to The Chapel will make it possible for us to better accommodate bridal parties, event rehearsals and provide dressing rooms.
The past few years, we have been doing more than expanding and restoring, we are reawakening this historic landmark and with it, The Chapel at St. Aloysius. We hope to continue to make this beautiful, peaceful and historic place available to the individuals and families in the Greater Cincinnati area. With your help we can raise the funds necessary to complete the repair and authentic restoration process.
Over time, The Chapel has begun to experience severe damage with age. A generous grant gave St. Al’s the opportunity to replace the roof on The Chapel slowing some of the deterioration.
Traditionally the church leadership could reach out to the congregation for the funding of necessary repairs. No longer a viable option for us, we hope to build a community congregation. We are asking for your consideration in joining us in the effort to fully restore The Chapel at St. Aloysius to its rightful condition with a personal gift. We also ask that you consider others you know who may want to join us in this effort.
There are many ways for you to be part of the real, lasting change we bring to the lives of the children and families of our community. We want to make it easy for you to be apart of the change. Donations, such as personal gifts, may be paid in several ways and over the course of several years. Call us now to find out how you can join our family of giving.
For more information on how you can help, or to schedule a tour of The Chapel for your next event, please contact:
Facilities Rental Manager
4721 Reading Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45237