We were commissioned by the A. Ottavino Corporation on January 2021 to design a memorial plaque for Michael Ira Sovern, 17th President of Columbia University, to be installed in-side St. Paul’s Chapel.
St. Paul’s Chapel was originally designed by I. N. Phelps Stokes in 1903. In 1966, the chapel was officially designated as a New York City landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Its interior features Guastavino tile ceilings, stained glass windows by John La Farge, and mosaic floor tile patterns. This plaque proudly takes its place among other plaques that grace the walls of St. Paul’s including that of Presidents Seth Low and Nicholas Murray Butler also designed by Stokes.
Sovern’s Plaque is located directly west of the Nakashima Peace Altar in the south transept. Its classical design includes a Greek Ionic Order which echoes the one used at Low Library. Other features include the Columbia crown placed inside the tympanum of the pediment, a Vitruvian wave which symbolizes infinity and a palmetto anthemion which symbolizes victory over death.