Holy Cross Abbey

1924, Joseph Dillon and L. A. Des Jardins. 2 miles east of Cañon City on Royal Gorge Blvd. (U.S. 50) (NR)

Benedictine monks built this $500,000 Collegiate Gothic abbey as the showpiece of a boys' college preparatory school. The imposing, three-and-one-half-story abbey, built on a Latin cross plan, is a steel-frame structure clad in gold and brown brick decorated with cast stone trim, some in the French Flamboyant mode, and distinguished by a cantilevered tower on the southeast corner. Gothic Revival influences are revealed by the massing, buttressing, pointed-arch window treatments, and filigree. The interior has the stark look of sudden budget cuts but retains a mini-museum and an 18,000-volume library. Unfortunately, the architectural quality of other structures on the 225-acre campus does not come near that of this well-landscaped medieval apparition. Closed in 1984 because of low enrollments, the campus is currently used for community college classes as well as for retreats conducted by the few remaining monks.

Editorial credits

  • Thomas J. Noel

Print citation

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 339.

Online citation

SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012. Online. http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/CO-01-FR01. Accessed 2014-09-15.

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Cañon City, CO 81212

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