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Designated Landmarks

Longmont Presbyterian College
546 Atwood Street

Landmark Designation: 1978

National Register: 1987

Construction Date: 1886

Architectural Style: Second Empire

Longmont's first college and the birthplace of higher education in the St. Vrain Valley was founded by the Presbyterian Synod of Colorado, November 24, 1885, with the people of Longmont making a generous offer of cash, land, and free water as an inducement to locate here. It was planned to have the principal building located "out in the country" at the east end of 6th Avenue. Construction began in 1886 on the south wing - the only portion of the large complex to be completed. Dr. William O. Thompson, the local Presbyterian minister, became the first President. The college opened with sixteen students and operated until 1889, offering classes in Literature, Latin, Greek, the Sciences, History and Mathematics. The college was soon in financial difficulties; it became the Presbyterian Academy and attendance increased. Over the next few years the Academy encountered financial difficulties and was forced to cease operations. In 1896, the building was rented to School District 17 and one of Longmont's beloved professors, D.W. Spangler, was one of the instructors. In 1907, the building was owned by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, who conducted St. Joseph's Academy and later a Catholic High School. From 1941 to 1949 it was the St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children and later St. Coletta's of the Rockies. In 1949 the property was purchased and converted into an apartment complex, which it remains today.