Duke Chapel to Close for Ceiling Inspection

The chapel will be closed for 11 days

Duke Chapel, pictured from the top of scaffolding used in inspecting and stabilizing ceiling tiles. Photo by Megan Morr/Duke University Photography

Duke Chapel will close for 11 days in early September so its ceiling can undergo an inspection.

The inspection will begin Monday, Sept. 10. Chapel worship for the weekend of Sept. 15-16 will be moved outdoors to the chapel lawn, with Page Auditorium as a backup in case of rain.

A Sept. 16 organ recital has been cancelled.

There are no weddings scheduled in the chapel that weekend. The chapel will re-open Sept. 21.

In mid-July, a tile fell from the chapel ceiling. Nobody was hurt, but the area of the ceiling where the tile dislodged is now being stabilized, work that requires scaffolding.

Once that work is done, the chapel will be closed so pews and chairs can be removed to aid in the larger inspection work, said Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel's associate dean for religious life. 

"There's some repair work to be done where the tile fell," she said. "The rest of the inspection is largely precautionary."

Though scaffolding is up now, several high-profile events will still be held in the chapel prior to its closing, including convocation on Aug. 22 and an orientation speech by author Maya Angelou on Aug. 26.

The chapel ceiling is inspected regularly but has never had an extensive renovation.