Did you know?
In the 1880s, Alamo Placita Park began its first of many incarnations as a water park called The Chutes. Its star attractions were Professor Barnes’ herd of diving elk, who dove from platforms into water tanks, and local celebrity Sadie Boynton, who would daredevil down the chutes on a bicycle!
Sacred Landmarks Preservation is a program of Historic Denver which serves to preserve historic sacred places and the community services they provide, regardless of religious affiliation. Since 2000, the program has worked with over 50 sacred sites to identify and correctly address issues with the historic building so that the functions housed inside may continue to thrive. Due to dwindling congregations, finances, and other challenges, the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized urban sacred places as endangered in 2002. Though the Sacred Landmarks program has accomplished much in the Denver area, there remains much more to do!
Through the program, we conduct research to determine the maintenance and renovation/repair costs of the historic sacred building; we strive to strengthen and maintain public education about the importance of sacred places by offering community-centered services; and we provide technical assistance to inner-city congregations and their pastors to help them accurately assess the enormous value of their physical and human resources.
Does your historic place of worship need help? You’re invited to contact us for help and information.
We believe that historic places of worship are irreplaceable centers that create and sustain communities. If your place of worship could use a helping hand, your congregation may want to get involved with Sacred Landmarks Preservation; click here to contact us
Current Sacred Landmark Projects
St. Paul United Methodist Church
St. Paul United Methodist Church is a proud structure little changed from its original construction in 1910. It is eloquently representative of the early 20th century civic and religious buildings of the classical revival expression. Designed by Denver architect, J.B. Hyder, the two-story, tan brick structure is laced with brilliant stained glass windows situated between colossal piers and columns and was the expression of a prosperous congregation willing to place high value on its house of worship.
The goal of this project is to restore the integrity of the leaded stained glass windows, metal supports, wood sashes, frames, and sills. Protective glazing will also be installed. With the restoration of the windows and the installation of protective glazing, the building “envelope” will be sealed. The project will include educational outreach in the congregation and community about the benefits of sustainable preservation work, particularly as it relates to the restoration of stained glass windows.
Denver Inner City Parish
Smith’s Chapel has been the home to the Denver Inner City Parish for more than 50 years, serving as a community anchor and social service hub for the Lincoln Park/La Alma Neighborhood. The work that will be accomplished with this grant will enhance the learning environment for the DICP educational programs by replacing non-historic doors and windows that are now damaged, non-functional, and non-transparent with those that are more compatible with the 1920s classroom addition and that will operate properly. Additionally, non-historic materials such as suspended ceilings and intrusive electrical and cable systems will be removed or relocated, restoring the historic volume of the classroom spaces and enhancing existing features such as the fireplaces and Gothic window openings.
The DICP is housed in the Gothic Revival Smith’s Chapel that was built in 1882, a typical church design for its period. The Chapel is constructed of rhyolite stone and there is a 1920s two-and-a half-story brick classroom addition on the east side of the building. Originally a United Brethren Church, the Chapel is one of the oldest churches on the west side of Denver and a significant architectural landmark in the Lincoln/La Alma neighborhood. La Alma/Lincoln Park is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods dating from the settlement of Auraria City, where the Auraria Higher Education Campus is currently located. The majority of the neighborhood’s residential blocks were developed before 1900. This area of the neighborhood was platted in the 1880s as Smith’s Addition and the Chapel was purportedly named for its association with the adjacent residential development. The building is significant for its architectural design and for its association with Denver’s ecclesiastical history.
Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) Isaac Solomon Synagogue
In 2001, the JCRS Isaac Solomon Historic Synagogue Foundation began its mission to restore the synagogue building as a living testament to its principles and to the memory of those who created, supported and were treated at the JCRS. The Foundation plans to see to its renovation and ongoing maintenance as a lifecycle news center and living history museum. The Isaac Solomon Synagogue requires extensive re-pointing of its exterior masonry, restoration of exterior terra cotta, repair and restoration of window frames and surrounds, repair to its foundation, as well as restoration of its interior wood floors. This project will go forward as a vital part of the overall efforts to restore the synagogue by sealing the exterior envelope and ensuring aesthetic and practical durability.
Designed by William and Arthur A. Fisher of Fisher and Fisher Architects, the current structure opened in 1926. It is a rare surviving Moorish inspired structure and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building features a carved marble ark, a trussed dome, and pyramidal styled roof.
Also known as the Temple Events Center, this Uptown former synagogue was built in 1898 in an exotic Moorish style. The project will restore the masonry on the west façade, and restore the double hung windows on west elevation to operate properly.
Church of the Holy Redeemer
This 1910 church in the Whittier neighborhood is a rare example of ecclesiastical architecture by the renowned Fisher and Fisher architecture firm and an important landmark from Denver’s era of segregation and civil rights.
The goal of this project is to further investigate critical deficiencies identified during the previous historic structure assessment, completed in September of 2007. These deficiencies include structural loading capabilities of the 1896 roof, 1910 balcony and the 1910 sanctuary, stone masonry deterioration that may also have impacted the structural integrity of the masonry bearing walls, air conditioning needs and associated electrical impacts and existing electrical code deficiencies. The existing downspouts connect to an underground drainage system whose condition is unknown. The goal is to preserve and protect the historic building and to ensure that it is maintained well into the future. Historic Denver recieved additional funding in 2012 to continue work on this important project.