The original baldacchino was made of oak and was carved with adoring angels with 4 angels facing the 4 corners of the earth. It was seated on 4 marble columns which came from the cocktail lounge of the original Waldorf Astoria! The swinging doors in the back of the chapel were also from the Waldorf Astoria.
Sadly, this beautiful baldacchino was replaced in the late 1950’s with the one currently over the main altar. The grilles to the left and right of the main altar were also closed up at that time, resulting in a more beautiful nuns’ choir but affected the acoustics in the main chapel. As a whole the chapel has remained pretty much as it was when it was built in 1939. Just recently, we were offered a generous gift of a new rug for the sanctuary. We were told that the one we have goes back to the 1930’s.
The December, 1939 issue of the Rosary Pilgrim told readers (and we are most grateful that it did) that the 8 Gothic chandlers are made of alabaster glass from Turkey.
At the back of the chapel is a triptych of our Lady with the Child Jesus that is greatly loved by the people who come to our chapel. It was designed by Renwick, the architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and executed by Emilio Angela.
The nuns’ choir stalls are beautifully carved. The artist who carved them thought that they would be seen by the people who come to the chapel. Instead, they remain a hidden offering to God. They certainly weren’t made for comfort! Just recently, one of the nuns noticed the carving on the wall of each side of the doors going into our choir, something most nuns had never noticed before. But more on that later!