Auburn Players Theater
Also known as: Auburn University Chapel, Presbyterian ChurchCollege Ave. at Thach St., Auburn, Alabama
The oldest building in its original location on the campus of Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
+32.60438, -85.4816632°36'16" N, 85°28'54" W
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
- May 26, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added description