Acoustics – Before & After Measurements with Gavin Haverstick

DATE: THURSDAY, March 26th at 7:00 PM

LOCATION:  Sweeney Chapel at Christian Theological Seminary – 1000 W. 42nd St., Indianapolis, IN 46208

DIRECTIONS: Christian Theological Seminary is located on the Northwest corner of 42nd Street and Haughey Avenue. Sweeney Chapel is on the East side of the campus near Haughey Avenue. There is a parking lot entrance off of Haughey Avenue just North of where the Chapel is located.  


The campus at Christian Theological Seminary has long been revered for its unique architecture. Indiana University Professor and former Art & Architecture Critic for The Indianapolis Star Steven Mannheimer calls it “Undoubtedly, the best modernist structure of this scale and contemplative purpose in the city, and among the finest in the nation.” The building was designed in 1966 by acclaimed architect, Edward Larrabee Barnes (1915-2004), who also designed the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the IUPUI University Library among other works around the country.

Sweeney Chapel was added to the building in 1987. While beautiful and distinct, the Chapel was not performing well acoustically for its main application – speaking engagements. Gavin Haverstick from Haverstick Designs was hired to conduct acoustical testing in the Chapel and to develop a plan to improve the acoustical performance of the space. The Reverberation Time (RT60) at 500 Hertz (Hz) was measured to be 4.06 seconds in the empty Chapel. This is not conducive to intelligible speech, so a plan was put together to improve the acoustics of the space while trying to retain the modern feel of the room – a delicate balance.  

Gavin Haverstick will present a case study of the project. We will go through testing data that illustrates the results before and after the acoustical improvements were made in the room. We will discuss the acoustical consulting process, testing data, predictions and the implementation of acoustical materials.

This is a great opportunity to see and hear a fantastic piece of architecture here in Indianapolis while going through the process of renovating an existing space to improve the acoustics of a venue of this size.

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