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Designated Landmarks

St. Stephens Church
470 Main Street

Landmark Designation: 1974

National Register: 1975

Construction Date: 1881

Architectural Style: Gothic Revival

Colorado, at the close of the Civil War, was the center of the Episcopal Missionary District of the Northwest, 1859. By 1870 one of the founders of the Chicago-Colorado Colony had established a Sunday school, but a regular service was not possible due to a lack of clergy. By virtue of a special request in 1879 from the congregation, Bishop Spalding sent the Reverend Thomas V. Wilson from Boulder. The mission was formally organized and a brick church erected.

The land for the building was acquired in mid-spring and the cornerstone was laid in December of that year. The church operated with scant and borrowed furnishings for the first year after it's dedication by Bishop Spalding. The congregation continued to struggle under heavy debt all through the 1880's and into the turn of the century. It wasn't until 1920 that the church finally was able to afford an organ. By virtue of a persistent spirit, the congregation managed to survive and grow. The church served the St. Stephen's Episcopal congregation for more than 90 years until 1972.

St. Stephen's Church has played an important role in the history of Longmont's development. When it was built the adjacent areas were relatively undeveloped and it was an important visual element as the town developed. The church sits in a grove of spruce and pine trees which is a restful green area in contrast to the adjacent commercial buildings of downtown Longmont.

Today the church is owned by the St. Vrain Historical Society and used as an art gallery.

HPC 1974-1