Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings; built works - religious structures - churches

Designers: Callister, Payne and Bischoff, Architects (firm); Charles Warren Callister Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1967

Mills College, Oakland, CA

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Building History

Architect and architectural historian Alan Hess has written of the chapel: "Warren Callister's 1967 Mills College Chapel shows his contrarian's sensibility, cutting against the grain, inspiring one of the great spaces of California architecture. The sanctuary's great wooden drum was scalloped for acoustic reasons, but Callister was so delighted with the form that he made it into great architecture that went beyond simple function. He flanked the sanctuary with two small entry buildings whose unusual swayed walls are lifted directly from the mansard roof of a Victorian building on campus. At a time when Modern architects were prodded to cast history onto its own dust heap, Callister's inspired design did not fit easily into the myths the critics and historians had created." (See Alan Hess, Forgotten Modern, California Houses, 1940-1970, [Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2007], p. 9.)

PCAD id: 11049