During the Dedication Day festivities, a rededication ceremony for Lane Chapel was held to reveal the results of an extensive renovation project and to show appreciation to the donors who made it possible.
In 1943, at the 15th annual meeting of the Alabama Officers Club (AOC), an organization made up of leaders within the Alabama Society DAR, it was voted to adopt the project of building a non-denomination chapel on the campus of Kate Duncan Smith DAR School. The building fund began with the War Bonds owned by the Club. Voluntary contributions were generously donated, and by 1950, it was determined that enough money was available to begin planning in earnest. On October 21, 1952, groundbreaking ceremonies were held with Mrs. Nancy “Nan” Roberts Lane, the first president of the AOC, turning the first shovel of dirt. By 1957, the native sandstone chapel with a marble cornerstone and a marble nameplate above the door, was completed. The Nan Roberts Lane Chapel, a non-denominational chapel, was officially dedicated on October 22, 1957.
After more than 60 years of use, it was determined that a renovation was needed to restore this beautiful building to its original condition. The Alabama Officers Club worked diligently during the past three years to raise the funding needed for the required renovations. Projects completed were the mitigation of mold on the ceiling, repainting the ceiling, and installing ceiling fans, as well as the installation of a UV screen on the large stained-glass window to prevent sun damage to the Chapel’s interior.
Additional work done included refinishing the original wood pews, repairing and painting the plaster walls, refinishing the oak floors and replacing the faded and worn carpet runner. The bride’s room and groom’s room of the Chapel have also been decorated and updated to provide a more inviting atmosphere.
More than 125 were in attendance at the ceremony, including several of Nan Roberts Lane’s grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Melvina Phillips, AOC President said, “We are so pleased with the renovations to the beautiful Lane Chapel, and we are honored that members of the Lane family could be here as we honor Mrs. Lane’s legacy.”
During the past three years, the generosity of individuals, DAR groups and Lane family members resulted in more than $34,000 being raised to address the needs the Chapel.