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Little Chapel in-the-Woods

415 Chapel Drive

Denton, TX 76209

Built:  Construction began in 1938. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the building in 1939 but the chapel was not completed until 1941.

Architect:  O’Neil Ford and Arch B. Swank

Show Description: A deceptively simple stone chapel nestled on the edge of campus at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. The Little Chapel in the Woods is believed to be the finest collaboration between noted Texas architects O’Neil Ford and Arch Swank, with help from The National Youth Association.


A theme in Ford’s work is the blending of natural materials, clean lines and open spaces. He was a modernist who integrated the landscape and local materials with handmade elements. The nonsectarian brick chapel is only 90 feet long by 24 feet wide, yet it is packed with handcrafted elements. Over 300 art students from the college worked with artisans to create the artwork in the chapel.

  • Stained glass windows
  • Carved pews, pulpit and doors
  • Metal and ceramic light fixtures
  • Vestibule floor
  • Mosaics
  • Woven Rugs
  • Altar pieces

Learn more / related references :

O’Neil Ford grew up in Denton and contributed to the city’s shape. Here are other places to find his work there:


  • 1819 N. Bell
  • 220 Marietta St.
  • 1712 Highland Park
  • 2280 West Oak St.
  • 1408 Country Club Rd, Argyle

Other Structures

  • First Christian Church
  • Denton Municipal Building
  • Municipal Swimming Pool
  • Air Terminal, Municipal Airport
  • Emily Fowlyer Public Library
  • Denton Civic Center
  • Selwyn School Complex
  • Fairhaven Retirement Home
  • The Gazebo – UNT campus

Source: A catalog of the work of O’Neil Ford in Denton, Texas by Mike Cochran, creator and editor of the Denton Review, a journal of local history and is the editor and webmaster of, a website dedicated to the history of Denton County.