In the last “Ask us,” we debunked the theory that Wilson Commons is shaped like a pinball machine and concluded that student tour guides probably started that rumor.

This week, there’s another tour guide rumor to discount.

Many people in the UR community, including some who are intimately involved with the Interfaith Chapel, seem to believe that the chapel is not on university property.

“This side of Wilson Boulevard is a park,” Father Brian Cool, Director of Chaplaincy Services said.

“I think it’s on city property,” Cool added. “But I can’t tell you definitely if it is.”

According to several chapel employees, George Eastman was a devout atheist who didn’t want his university to be associated with religion of any sort. Therefore, the university had to lease the land on the other side of Wilson Boulevard from the city of Rochester.

Eastman’s distaste for religion is the reason why the chapel is relatively new compared with the rest of the architecture on campus, according to former chapel employee Jeff Sachs.

However, on closer inspection, it becomes evident that the Interfaith Chapel is indeed on River Campus property.

“It’s owned by the university,” Eileen Bruton, Chaplain’s Office secretary, said. “We have a tax ID number.”

Bruton added, “The only rumor I had heard was that Eastman didn’t want it right next to the campus. That is also a myth.”

How does Bruton think the myth got started?

“I know we get [tour] guides who come around and say that quite often.”

Smith can be reached at

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