National and State Register

Shove Memorial Chapel

El Paso County

Erected in 1930-31, the chapel has been described as “one of the foremost examples of Norman Romanesque architecture in America.” Inspired by historic churches in England and Normandy, this original composition includes traditional components of Romanesque churches, including monumental size, masonry walls, limited exterior ornamentation, semi-circular arches, wall arcades, and a substantial tower.  The chapel was the first major building architect John Gray designed after establishing his own practice, and it is regarded as his most important work.  His all-encompassing design ranged from the planning of the door hinges to the creation of the print on the memorial tablets. 

A view of the chapel from the outside with steeply roofed gable over arched entrance and two towers on either side. In the rare is a flat roofed steeple.

Shove Memorial Chapel

Despite the Depression, the donor and architect were of one mind to create a building that combined the finest materials, artistry, and craftsmanship.  Gray utilized artists and craftsmen from around the country to complete his carefully planned, meticulously detailed design.  The stonework of the walls required exacting skill, as each piece of Bedford limestone was cut in Indiana to precisely fit a certain location on the building.  Master stone carver John Bruce executed the ornamental work based on designs provided by the sculptor.  Robert Garrison, considered Denver’s first important 20th century sculptor, designed the exterior carvings, including the gargoyles and carved heads.

A view inside the chapel with ornate ceiling and organ in the back .

Shove Memorial Chapel

An authority on design and painting of church interiors, Robert E. Wade planned and painted the ceilings.  Joseph Reynolds, Jr. of the nationally recognized Boston firm of Reynolds, Francis, and Rohnstock, designed all the stained glass windows.  The east wall of the Morning/Pilgrim Chapel is embedded with ancient stones from buildings in England important to the Shove family.  The property is associated with the Colorado College Historic Resources of Colorado College Multiple Property Submission.