O'Neil Ford & Arch Swank: The Little Chapel in the Woods
Published by Wasmuth & Zohlen.
Edited with text by Wilfried Wang. Text by Beth Dodd, Katie Pierce Meyer & Nancy Sparrow, Brantley Hightower, Kathryn Holliday, Kathryn O’Rourke.
Celebrating a gem of Great Depression–era architecture
As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Program Administration building projects, the Little Chapel in the Woods was constructed in Denton, Texas, toward the end of the Great Depression, by O’Neil Ford (1902–82), a leading architect of the American Southwest, and his protégé Arch Swank (1913–99). With the help of 300 students from the Texas State College for Women and young men from the National Youth Administration, Ford and Swank created a simple configuration with two surprising features on the interior: parabolic arches inspired by the work of Felix Candela, and student-designed and manufactured stained-glass windows that assert the right of women to their fair share in modern life. In this book, a series of essays places the chapel in the international and regional context of architectural trends of the time. Reproductions from the Alexander Architectural Archive at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture, provide a detailed insight into the careful design of this much-admired manifesto for a regional architecture by Ford and Swank.