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A Jewel Box of Color, Still

Written by Morgan Kelly

Sunlight passes through the varicolored lancet windows of Pitt’s Heinz Memorial Chapel despite the bitter wind outside, and it saturates the chapel with blue. An organist practices, and the music swells from the chancel into the nave, upward toward the arches. Seventy years after the chapel’s dedication on Nov. 20, 1938, its innate tranquility and subtle majesty remain its defining features. “It comes together as a jewel box of color,” says longtime chapel director Patricia Gibbons. “The windows twinkle on sunny days and gloomy days—they have a luminosity of their own.”