Nazareth Hall Exterior
Rising above Nazareth Hall, the tower is the focal point of the campus. Its height and prominence have made it a recognizable campus symbol.
The tower is crowned by a pyramidal roof covered with clay tiles and a copper finial in the form of a cross. A cornice below the roof is set with marble medallions. Arched openings, flanked by paired limestone columns, are set on all sides of the tower. Some of windows along the lower half of the tower are originals, while others have been filled with metal louvers.
The tower walls are faced with tapestry brick set in rough-sand mortar. C. H. Young of St. Paul supplied the carved limestone columns and other limestone details, as well as the marble medallions, specified as sylvan green, numidian, and pavanazzo.
The terrace, or loggia, is set along the lake side of Nazareth Hall. It is marked by 12 limestone columns with carved limestone capitals supporting brick arches with marble panels set in the spandrels.
The rear brick wall is punctuated by window openings and three doors—one at each end and one in the middle. The wall above each door bears three carved limestone plaques with the Latin inscriptions FIDES, SPES and CARITAS representing faith, hope and charity, respectively.
The floor, now covered in concrete, but originally set with herringbone brick and stone pavers, steps down to a granite path. A raised terrace, planted with grass, opens beyond the cloister. The raised terrace wall is faced with rusticated granite blocks and surmounted by limestone balusters. Granite and limestone steps lead up to the terrace level at the north end.
The exterior walls of Nazareth Hall are faced with tapestry brick set in rough-sand mortar and accented with carved Indiana limestone detail. Cold Spring granite from the Rockville Granite Company was used for window and door sills. The brick in varied hues of red, brown and gray is laid in Flemish bond. The brick was supplied by Herman Ebert.
The carved limestone, supplied by the C. H. Young Company of St. Paul serves both functional and decorative needs. A limestone cornerstone set in the apse wall of the chapel is carved with the date, “MCMXXII” (1922).
Three carved statues are prominently placed in limestone niches and protected by limestone hoods covered with tile roofs. Saint Thomas is placed on the north wall of the assembly hall and library wing (now Gold Room and Youderian Lounge, respectively). Saint Paul adorns the north face of the north stair tower. Saint Augustine is placed on the wall of the northwest corner of the west courtyard. Existing records do not indicate who carved the statues.
Because Nazareth Hall is an architecturally complex building, the roof features take a variety of forms, but all are unified by the clay tile covering. Important characteristics include roof shape and pitch along with such features as chimneys, dormers and bell towers.
Most sections of the building have gabled or hipped roofs, except for the apse which has a semi-domed roof and the lakeside entrance portico which has a flat roof. Among the special roof features are the bell tower between the chapel and sacristy, the towers concealing chimneys at the north and west ends, and a small stair tower on the north side.
The main entrance to Nazareth Hall and Nazareth Chapel is through a projecting stone portico on the lakeside. The original paired doors are adorned with decorative wrought-iron hardware. The arched portico is notable for its large round limestone columns supporting a carved arch and recessed tympanum depicting Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Bas-relief panels above the column capitals display symbols of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The arch spandrels bear sculptures of Mary and Joseph, a carved head of the young Jesus, and the inscription “Nazareth Hall.” The carved inscription above the entrance reads: VENITE AD ME QUONIAM IUGUM MEUMSUAVE EST ONUS LEVE (“Come to me because my yoke is easy and my burden is light”). Granite and limestone steps lead up to the entrance and the wrought-iron handrails on the steps have been installed by Northwestern College.
The sacristy entrance, located next to the south courtyard in its own gable roof vestibule, is not regularly used. It has two arched doorways at ground level, one on the outer wall and the other inside the courtyard wall. The entrance on the west side which originally led to the convent wing is set in a limestone stone arch above a flight of steps. The tympanum above the entrance has a carved panel depicting Christ in the house of Mary and Martha, and the lintel is carved with the inscription CASTELLUM MARTHAE.
Other wood entrance doors survive in various states of repair, such as those at the sacristy entrance and the doors opening onto the cloister terrace. The original doors were supplied by Villaume Box and Lumber Company.