DENVER | Christmas is coming, better get to church! Denver’s Historic Churches
I shot these photos over the past year and with my old camera. I have wanted to post them but only recently found time to get the facts on some of the larger churches. The quality is not as good as the pics with my new camera, but I hope you appreciate the details of the many wonderful historic churches we have in Denver. Here are just a few as it would be an endless post to include all of the in the city. I was able to get inside some of them and of course I had on my flame retardant vest to prevent instant combustion upon entry.
Saint John’s Cathedral, founded 1860 before Denver was an incorporated city. This is the second location built and was done so in 1909. Architects Tracy and Swartwout of New York City, Medieval English cathedral in Gothic style, Indiana Oolite Limestone with 100 foot towers.
Stained Glass from either Tiffany and from the first Cathedral 1889, or later installed in the new space 1914 by Edward Frampton Studios, London, England.
Saint Andrews Episcopal, built in 1904 by Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram, whose later works would include the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City, and the cadet Chapel at West Point. His design called for a gothic structure executed in locally made brick.
Church of Divine Science, 1898
Saint Thomas Episcopal Church, Spanish Colonial Revival style stucco church , built 1918.
Sanctuary Lofts: Methodist Episcopal Church - Denver, CO Architect: Frank E. Kidder, Construction Date: 1889
Modern day Temple Emanuel
Style from the 1940s
From the 1970s Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Inside the dome:
Evans Memorial Chapel at the University of Denver, built in 1878 by Colorado’s first governor, John Evans, in memory of his daughter Josephine, this campus landmark originally was located in downtown Denver. In 1961, the chapel was dismantled stone by stone and relocated to the western edge of the Harper Humanities Garden on campus. Each stone was numbered to ensure the chapel would be rebuilt with every stone in its original place.
Saint Paul of Denver, Built 1910, architect James Hyder designed this building and it was built for $100,000.
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, built 1912
Central Presbyterian Church, built 1892, Romanesque Revival style, Frank E. Edbrooke and Willis Marean architects, on National Register of Historic Places.
Christ Church History, Since it was first organized in 1871 as California Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Christ Church’s history has been linked with Denver’s history, moving to new locations to adjust to the city’s growth patterns. It has been in its present location at 7th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard since 1927, undergoing remodeling in 1963.
Christ the King Catholic Church
First Church of Christ, Scientist, designed in 1904 by Lester Varian and Frederick Sterner, neoclassical Greek revival style, constructed of white lava stone from Salida, Colorado. The dome shaped skylight roof is beautiful!
Former church now Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio:
Keeping up with modern changes in the community, the Denver Islamic Center:
Mother Theresa’s AIDS Hospice:
Ivy Chapel at Fairmount Cemetery, built 1890, The chapel is the city's purest example of French neo-Gothic architecture, complete with flying buttresses, barbed finials and gargoyles. The structure is a designated Denver Landmark, and is primarily used for funeral services. Sadly, there is talk of razing the building because it is made of sandstone and is crumbling.
First Baptist Church of Denver was organized prior to Colorado's statehood and during the American Civil War era on May 2, 1864, and is the oldest Baptist congregation in Denver and Colorado. The present building was constructed in 1934 through 1936. A Denver Historic Landmark, it was constructed in the "Christopher Wren" style, found mostly on the East Coast and in England. The solid granite columns at the front of the building are so large, they were turned on a lathe in the middle of 14th Avenue during construction of the building. Elegant granite and marble stonework in the narthex of the building near the front columns are noteworthy.
Grant Avenue Community Church
In 1985 the Church of the Holy Ghost sold the air space above it for the building of 1999 Broadway, the green glass skyscraper just feet behind it. Many in Denver were concerned about the outcome during construction but it worked out well for both. The church was built in 1923 by architect J.B. Benedict. Three hundred tons of Colorado colocreme travertine marble beautify the walls and columns of the church, making it the largest collection of this stone in the United States. Architecturally the Church of the Holy Ghost in Denver is an original conception, a fusion of Spanish and Italian Renaissance art.
1999 Broadway, south side
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, built 1989
Loretto Heights Chapel
MCC, Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies:
The story of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish begins with Sacred Heart Parish, the first Jesuit parish in Denver back in 1880, current structure was built in 1909. Loyola's beautiful, Gothic-style church, was placed on both the National and Colorado State Registers of Historic Places.
Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church officially began on November 2, 1902.
During the 1950’s, the rapidly growing congregation completed the construction of our beautiful 1200-seat gothic sanctuary.
Messiah Community Church, love the deco elements in this church:
Saint Dominic Roman Catholic Church, English Gothic architecture, 1920, its lancet vaults and simple quadripartite bays harken back to the High Middle Ages when all things pointed heavenward.
Mount Carmel Catholic Church, established 1894 but original church burned down. In the heart of North Denver’s “Little Italy” neighborhood Frances Xavier Cabrini (1st Canonized U.S. saint) praised this community and the Italian miners for their hardest of work in the mines. And in 1904 she helped this community restore their church at it’s current location. I believe she is the same Cabrini for which the NYC neighborhood near Harlem and Cabrini Green in Chicago are named after.
Park Hill United Methodist Church is a welcoming, diverse congregation near downtown Denver. The church, which is celebrating its 97th anniversary in 2008
South Broadway Christian Church, Built in 1891, Romanesque Revival structure of rhyolite from Castle Rock, Colorado, original stained glass windows by Marshall Brothers. It has the appearance of a medieval castle with a square tower and a round turret.
St. Cajetan’s Center, The Spanish Colonial St. Cajetan’s Church, built in l925, was one of three Catholic churches clustered within a six block radius in the Auraria neighborhood. St. Cajetan’s served as the focus of Auraria’s Spanish-speaking community until 1973, when construction of the Auraria Campus forced the parish to relocate. The landmark church now serves as a multi- purpose auditorium for lectures, concerts, recitals and other community events.
St. Elizabeth’s Church, Founded in 1878 by German immigrants, St. Elizabeth’s is still an active Catholic parish. The German-Gothic edifice, was modeled after the cathedrals of Europe. Built of rusticated rhyolite (lava rock) quarried at nearby Colorado Springs, the building has a 162' spire. St. Elizabeth’s is still considered one of Denver’s most beautiful church structures.
Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Built 1914, Gothic style, on National Register of Historic Places.
Once a thriving parish from the time of its construction in 1881 until the mid 1950s, this church now acts as a mission, with a cloister of Capuchin Poor Clare nuns from Mexico in residency. The Sisters also use the renovated Lady of Light Monastery across the street. Driving in north Denver, St. Patrick's Mission Church is an impressive architectural sight. The large stone façade with asymmetrical bell towers is adjoined by a curvilinear parapet. The church enjoys landmark status.
Saint Paul, This historic congregation on Denver's Capitol Hill was founded in 1884, and moved to its present location one block north of the Capitol in 1925.
Modern “ski slope” church:
Church Nightclub, Designed in 1890 by William Lang and Marshall Pugh in the Victorian Gothic style. The former Saint Mark’s Parish Church is currently a nightclub. On the National Register of Historic Places.
Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver’s first church (established 1859) built in 1888, Tiffany stained glass and original to the building, architect Robert Roeschlaub, the church doubled as an opera and theater house. Note the opera boxes and lighting.
Temple Events Center, Temple Emanuel Building, a Moorish style synagogue, was built in 1899 by architect John Humphreys. It is a local and national historic landmark. The Event Center features 100-foot towers with copper domes, stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, vaulted ceilings, gold leaf stenciling, and velvet-covered seats. A 1911 Estey pipe organ, the oldest in the country, is located in the choir loft.
The former Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now the Zen Center of Denver. Architect, builder, or engineer: Hoyt, Merrill H., Hoyt, Burnham F., Architectural Style: Renaissance 1900
Emmanuel Gallery, Emmanuel is Denver’s oldest church building, originally constructed in 1876 to serve an Episcopalian congregation. The tiny stone chapel is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. Emmanuel was converted into a Jewish synagogue in 1903 and served as an artist’s studio from 1958 until 1973. The building was approved for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 and currently serves Auraria Campus as a shared art gallery for the three schools on campus.
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, French Gothic style, built in 1906, 210 foot bell spires were capped in 1911, Pope John-Paul II elevated it to a basilica and the spires have twice been graced by lightning. Architect – Leon Coquard of Detroit and Aaron Grove and Thomas Walsh of Denver. Kimball organ with 3,000 pipes, marble from Carrara, Italy, there ere are 75 stained glass windows - more than any other church of any denomination in America. F.X. Zettler crafted the windows in Munich, Germany at the Royal Bavarian Art Institute (the firm and its secret for exquisite stained glass were destroyed during World War II). Mr. Zettler was a chemist who was known for his unique ability to craft beautiful colors and dyes. With monumental effect, Zettler oversaw 50 artisans who worked to craft the windows. In 1912 the total cost of the 75 windows was $34,000. Today, just one transept window would cost over $500,000. I will get back in here with my new camera and get better shots.
Hope you enjoyed!