Auburn Players Theater

Also known as: Auburn University Chapel, Presbyterian Church
College Ave. at Thach St., Auburn, Alabama

The oldest building in its original location on the campus of Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.



The Auburn University Chapel is the oldest building in its original location on the campus of Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. The chapel was built in 1851 as a Presbyterian church in the Greek Revival style. During the Civil War, the building briefly served as a Confederate hospital for wounded soldiers, and later in the century was temporarily divided into classrooms when the main building of the nearby Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College burned in 1887.

Around 1900, the church was renovated in a Gothic style. The building was sold to the college in 1921, where it became the YMCA/YWCA center for a few years. From 1927 to 1973, it housed the Auburn Players Theater, the college's acting troupe. Between 1973 and 1976, the structure underwent a significant renovation for conversion to the Auburn University Chapel, an interdenominational, multipurpose building, a function it still serves today. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Auburn Players Theater on May 22, 1973.

Legend states that the building was haunted by "Sydney", the ghost of an Englishman and Confederate soldier who died in the chapel during the time it served as a hospital. When the building became a theater, the ghost began haunting the acting troupe. When the troupe moved to a new facility elsewhere on the Auburn campus, the ghost followed, and is now reported to haunt the Telfair Peet Theatre. The ghost was investigated receently by a well-known show on the History Channel. Auburn Theater students frequently leave Sydney Reese's pieces or Peanut M&Ms before performing shows.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 1973
Reference number
Architectural styles
Victorian: Gothic; Other architectural type; Early Victorian
Areas of significance
Art; Religion; Performing Arts
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Religious structure; Civic; Theater; School; Hospital
Period of significance
Significant year


19th Century (38,066)
Alabama (1,826)
Auburn, Alabama (11)
Brick (42,466)
Built 1851 (246)
Built during 1850s (4,729)
Church (5,767)
Edwin Reese (1)
Gothic (1,440)
Lee County, Alabama (29)
Place of worship (6,136)
Private owner (54,402)
School (5,254)
Victorian (19,703)

Update Log 

  • May 26, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added description