• Joe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #132: Phillips Exeter Academy Chapel, Exeter


The Chapel of Love

(Hiatus from hiatus)


Twelve years ago today, I learned that a perfect woman has a flaw. She's brilliant, dedicated, talented, selfless, loving, ambitious, hardworking, gorgeous - but, thank goodness, she ain't picky. On July 2, 2005, Sarah Pace became my wife at the Phillips Exeter Academy Chapel on Tan Lane. Many of you were there as Reverend Thompson officiated over a union that came as a bit of surprise to everyone, us included, and yet has stood the test of time. It was a sweltering day, to the extent that the bridal limousine overheated, leaving the new mister and missus temporarily stranded and late for their own wedding reception in Durham. Seven years later, we'd back back at the Chapel where the Rev would christen both of our boys.


Built in 1895 as the Second Congregational Church in Exeter, it was later sold to the Academy. It's one of the most recognizable places in town, a gothic stone gem nestled among the federal-style homes of Front Street and the red-brick Academy buildings. It looks like a small castle, a colonial keep with stained-glass windows, heavy iron-bound oaken doors, and a jutting turret. It's an absolute classic of a building, unique and beautiful inside and out. Just like the woman I married there twelve years ago today.


(Resume hiatus)

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