In 1962 the Gavin estate passed into the possession of Mr. and
Mrs. Marc B. Rojtman. Shortly before they were to move in, a fire,
which smoldered for sixteen hours, gutted much of the chateau but
almost miraculously spared the Chapel.
The exterior façade of the chateau, which in the sixteenth
century belonged to the royal line of the Dukes of Orleans-Longueville
at Melun in France, was saved. This the Rojtman's presented to
the Metropolitan Museum where it is scheduled to be installed at
the east end of the Medieval Sculpture Hall, where it will survey
the Spanish Cathedral Gates of the Hearst Collection and the J.P.
Morgan Collection of Medieval Art. For this gift the Metropolitan
Museum of Art made the Rojtmans "Fellows in Perpetuity."
|A fleet of trucks,
each truck carrying 40,000 pounds, brought the Chapel
stones to Milwaukee. The reconstruction took nearly two
1964 the Rojtmans presented the Chapel to Marquette and had it
dismantled and sent to the campus for the University to reconstruct.
They also gave numerous furnishing for the Chapel, including
a crucifix, banner, a dozen priedieux, torcheres, candlesticks,
missal stand, vestments, and antependium -- all of approximately
the same period as the Chapel. In addition they presented an
early Gothic antique font, probably of the twelfth or early thirteenth
The Move to Marquette University
The dismantling of the Chapel on Long Island began in June 1963
and took nine months to complete. Each stone was marked in three
places: green for the top, red for the bottom, the inside carrying
the number of the stone in relation to the others. Eighteen thousand
antique terra cotta roof tiles were removed and packed. A fleet
of trucks, each truck carrying forty thousand pounds, brought
the Chapel stones to Milwaukee, where the first shipment arrived
November 1964. After the material was stored for the winter
and the ground was cleared, reconstruction on the campus started
in July 1965.
Architectural plans for the reconstruction at Marquette
were initiated by the French architect Lucien David and revised
completed by the noted Earnest
Bonnamy, a graduate of the French Beaux Arts and a member of the famous
firm of Kahn and Jacobs, New York. The rebuilding was done
by Siesel Construction
Company with the careful supervision and cooperation of Roy H. Dirks
of the Office of Campus Planning and Construction.
The principles of reconstruction were those employed at the Cloisters,
a division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Fort Tryon Park,
New York. Several changes were made to the adapt the Chapel to
the campus: the nave was lengthened, necessitating the addition
of several windows; the tomb of Chevalier de Sautereau and the
niche were moved to the left and the sacristy to the right -- restoring
them to the original positions in France -- and such modern concessions
as in-the-floor electric heating were introduced.
|The St. Joan of
Arc Chapel is "the only medieval structure in
the entire Western Hemisphere dedicated to its original
purpose: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam."
from Chasse to Long Island and then to Marquette, the Chapel
so fittingly dedicated to St. Joan of Arc on May 26, 1966, has
to a new home far from the Rhone River Valley where it stood
for over five hundred years.
" It is doubtful," wrote Milton Samuels, Chairman of
French and Company, New York, in the official appraisal papers
dated April 9, 1964, "if such an historic architectural
monument would be permitted to leave France today."
The Chapel is, to our knowledge, the only medieval structure in
the entire Western Hemisphere dedicated to its original purpose:
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.