Photo Courtesy of Gallaudet University Archives

Removed during the 2013 renovation of Chapel Hall, this authentic piece of Gallaudet history has been preserved by the Gallaudet Museum. Comprising of both the floor and subfloor, these panels, from the same room which today houses the Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond exhibition, are available for purchase by anyone who wishes to own a part of Gallaudet’s long and rich history.

Part of the original building, the floor was installed by 1870 when the construction of Chapel Hall was completed. Thus, this wood supported the likes of Edward Miner Gallaudet; various presidents of the United States, including President Ulysses S. Grant, who became the first US President to visit the campus in 1871, Senators and Congressmen, Alexander Graham Bell, other distinguished guests, and thousands of Gallaudet alumni, faculty, and staff.

Many memories were made in Chapel Hall, which not only served as a lecture facility and testing hall, but also saw plays and performances by the students, wrestling matches, religious ceremonies, and dances. It will also be remembered as a place where sweethearts bid good night in the days of old and as a place that has hosted a number of weddings.

Nearly every person featured in the museum exhibitions most likely walked on the floor of Chapel Hall. Through multiple renovations, the floor remained untouched. However, during the 2013 renovation, the result of 143 years of wear, tear, and weather was revealed, and the decision was made to replace both the floor and subfloor.

The original planks were given to the Museum, which cut them into ten-inch sections to give visitors the chance to own a piece of history, while at the same time supporting the operation of the Museum.
All purchase proceeds go to the Gallaudet Museum Donations Fund. The wooden planks will come with a Letter of Authenticity.

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