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Shedd Aquarium

Belvidere Cemetery and Pettit Memorial Chapel

1121 N. Main St., Belvidere, IL 61008

Public Art

Established in 1847, this is the burial ground for Belvidere's illustrious pioneers. Want to go right to a Frank Lloyd Wright landmark? Visit the Pettit Memorial Chapel.

The Cemetery Association of Belvidere is proud to host the Pettit Memorial Chapel designed by the world famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Built as a memorial to Dr. William H. Pettit, the chapel was completed in 1907. Dr. Pettit was born and raised in Belvidere in the 1800's and received his medical training from Hahnemann College in Chicago. He then practiced medicine in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for the next 27 years.  Wanting a unique structure and hearing about the work of Frank Lloyd Wright she contacted him in 1905. Wright used straight lines and very simple detail which was an extreme departure from the Victorian style that was popular at the turn of the century.

The chapel was designed as Frank Lloyd Wright was developing his Prairie School style characterized by long horizontal lines, roof overhangs and dark trim on stucco walls. The chapel is a near perfect example of this style because he was not limited by the use of the building. The chapel has a cruciform design and is unique in that it is the only cemetery memorial that Wright ever designed. The chapel was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and is designated as an Illinois Historic Site.

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