South Post’s New Chapel

While still considered "Arlington Cantonment" a new chapel was built in 1941 on the acreage that was originally Arlington Farms.  Ground breaking occurred in May 1941 and shortly thereafter it's spire rose in the sky with the US Capitol building in the distance. Chapel on South Post It would be on July 27, 1941 that Chief of Staff of the Army, General George Catlett Marshall would dedicate this new house of worship on what eventually would become South Post, Fort Myer. This chapel design was the prototype of a chapel that would be built on many US Army Posts across the United States of America.  Over 500 chapels in total would be erected, many of them still to this day providing a place of worship for the Soldiers, their families and friends. The building on Arlington Cantonment  would mark the beginning of the rapid build up of and eventual renaming of the area to South Post during World War II and for many years had its own Post Commander and population into the thousands.   The South Post Chapel, like the Post Chapel of Fort Myer, would have its own Sunday School, youth groups and chapel services.   In the 1950's the Military District of Washington Staff Chaplain was located in one of the many buildings within the South Post acreage.  Did you attend services at the South Post Chapel?   Please leave a comment and tell us about it.    Any photographs of the chapel?   We'd love to see those too! The chapel would become inactive in 1969 reflecting the reduction in population and elimination of family housing. (1958 Fort Myer Snapshot)  Reviews in the early 1970s showed that the chapel was deteriorated beyond repair.  With plans to replace it once South Post was turned back to Arlington National Cemetery, this historic building was razed.  The new chapel was to stand where the Columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery currently is, but for reasons unknown, it was never built. With over 200 historical photographs, "Images of America - Fort Myer" provides a visual history of this unique US Army Post with origins during the US Civil War when it was known as Fort Whipple.   One of the original Defenses of Washington, Fort Myer still provides for the defense of the US Capital and is a showcase for the Military District of Washington and the US Army.

Post Author: John Michael

2 thoughts on “South Post’s New Chapel

    Roxanne Ando

    (January 27, 2017 - 9:16 pm)

    Our family lived on South Post from about 1961 to 1963 and attended South Post Chapel until it closed, and then transferred to North Post Old Chapel. We lived at Maine Hall, which I suspect is probably a parking lot for the Cemetary these days. We attended Ft. Myer Elementary School on North post, across from the current Memorial Chapel, went to the swimming pool on North post, did major commissary shopping there. I remember the old (South Post) theater and tiny commissary annex, where we would run up to get bread or milk. My mother sang and if memory serves, was the choir director at South Post Chapel and then continued to sing in the choir at North Post and then move with it to the Memorial Chapel for many years.

    Chuck Matasic

    (July 21, 2017 - 1:35 am)

    Was an altar boy at the Chapel….played Little League on the base in the 60’s…swam in the pool and sold newspapers at the tunnel exit that connected South Post to the Pentagon. The theatre was classic. It was a good place to be a kid!

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