Explosions of beauty come to mind when you first look upon the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel. It’s actually deceiving. Never would someone think such a place exists when you first start walking down the little trail to the chapel.
The chapel is full of beautiful heights with massive wooden doors that silently whisper a grand entrance is about to take place. I’ve personally lived in Bella Vista, Arkansas for almost 15 years and just discovered this beautiful feat of architecture sitting not 3 miles from my home.
The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel was created by renowned Arkansas architect Euine Fay Jones. In 1991, Fay Jones was awarded the American Institute of Architecture’s highest award, the AIA Gold Medal. Fay was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright where he was first introduced to the principle of Organic Architecture (designing to fit the environment).
The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel was built to honor Mildred Borum Cooper, wife of John A. Cooper, Sr., Founder of Cooper Communities, Inc, the Chapel is a fitting memorial. Besides being a devoted wife, mother, and member of the community, Mrs. Cooper had a deep spirituality and love for nature. Her family commissioned the Chapel in her honor to celebrate her life and her dedication to God and his creations.
The architectural aspects of the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel is an extremely impressive design. Coupled with the beauty outside, it is sure to take your breath away, leaving you with a renewed respect for the achievements of both mankind and of the creator of all.
Fay Jones has produced two well known architectural pieces of art in Northwest Arkansas. First is Bella Vista’s own Mildred B. Memorial Chapel and the other is the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Eureka Springs is a quaint old town full of artesian and antique shops, a popular destination for tourists only an hours drive to the east of Bella Vista.
For four days leading up to Christmas, the Chapel is lit in the evenings till 8:00. It’s a beautiful and rare site you won’t want to miss!
The Chapel is open to the public from 9 – 5 seven days a week or by reservation for special ceremonies. The Chapel is available for services such as weddings, renewal of vows, concerts, cultural events, baptisms and memorial services. Such services must receive prior approval from the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel Foundation.
Maintenance and upkeep of the Chapel is funded entirely through private contributions. An offering box is located just inside the Chapel and contributions are greatly appreciated. All contributions are tax deductible and will be gratefully acknowledged in writing.
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