Thorncrown Chapel

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark.--Conceived as a folly by an alcoholic California schoolteacher, Thorncrown Chapel in this northwestern Arkansas hamlet, shocked the world. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's most-accomplished student, Fay Jones and opened in 1980, Thorncrown Chapel won many of architecture's most prestigious awards.

As part of CNET Road Trip 2014, I came to the Ozarks to see the "Glass Chapel," Jones' biggest masterpiece, and a testament to the commitment of the schoolteacher, John Reed.

Click here to read my full story on Thorncrown Chapel.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Trusses all around

The front exterior of the Fay Jones-designed non-denomenational chapel, surrounded on all sides by the beauty of Arkansas' Ozarks.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Interior empty

The interior of Thorncrown Chapel can be empty one minute and full with one or more groups the next.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Chapel rear

Thorncrown Chapel, as seen from behind.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

In the snow

Thorncrown Chapel is famous for being beautiful in all seasons and at all times of day. The design, like so many of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings, and so many of his students', fits into the nature around it.

Photo by: Thorncrown Chapel

Rear corner

A look up at the rear corner of the building, designed by award-winning architect Fay Jones.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Thorncrown from the air

Thorncrown Chapel, at least the roof of it, seen through the treetops. This photo was taken using a DJI Phantom 2 Vision + quadcopter.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Angled up

A look up at the front of Thorncrown Chapel, at an angle.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Lit up from inside

Thorncrown Chapel, lit up from inside at dusk.

Photo by: Thorncrown Chapel

Side

A look at the award-winning building from the east side, from where you can see all the way through the chapel to the other side,

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Seats inside

A look out the west side of the building across several rows of seats.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Congregation

Though Thorncrown Chapel has no regular congregation -- it caters mainly to visitors -- it welcomes people from all over the world at any time. So far, more than 7 million people have visited.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Lit up

The interior of Thorncrown Chapel, lit up at night.

Photo by: Thorncrown Chapel

Out the back

A look out the rear of the chapel shows how Fay Jones made even the angles of the back of the chairs blend into the space.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Trusses

Wooden trusses soar over the interior of the building.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Door lit up

Another look at Thorncrown Chapel, lit up in the evening.

Photo by: Thorncrown Chapel

Through to the hills

A look out the east side of the building through the tall glass reveals the rocky hillside.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

All lit up at dusk

Thorncrown Chapel, all lit up in the evening.

Photo by: Thorncrown Chapel

Up at the trusses

Another look up at the Thorncrown Chapel wooden trusses.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Straight up

At first the schoolteacher who conceived the idea of building a glass chapel in the Ozark woods didn't understand Jones' design.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Worship Center

Just across the parking lot from Thorncrown Chapel is the related, also Fay Jones-designed, Worship Center.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Down from above

A look down toward the front of the Worship Center.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Straight down the middle

The interior of the Worship Center.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Worship Center from the air

An aerial view of the Worship Center. This photo was taken using a DJI Phantom 2 Vision + quadcopter.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Straight up

Looking the other way, toward the front door of the Worship Center.

Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

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