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Holy Ghost Catholic Church

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1943, Jacques Benedict and John K. Monroe. 1900 California St. (at 19th St.)

The Lombard-style beige brick and terracotta exterior of this church only hints at the rich interior. Some 300 tons of rose and beige travertine marble from Salida, Colorado, provide a tranquil background for grand wrought iron chandeliers, two banks of predominantly blue stained glass windows, and elaborate dark wood-work. Hundreds of hand-painted glazed tiles are set between carved wooden beams in the coffered ceiling, and an elaborate baldacchino celebrates the role of the church as Denver's daily expositor of the Blessed Sacrament.

Homeless people slept on the golden oak pews until the church sold its rectory, cloister, garage, and air rights to the developer of the adjacent forty-four-story 1999 Broadway Office Tower (1989, C. W. Fentress and Associates). An ambitious glittering green glass tower hovers over the church, like a design intended for Manhattan. The church used the sale proceeds for a restoration and to build Samaritan House (1986, Barker, Rinker, Seacat and Partners), 2301 Lawrence Street, the country's first purpose-built homeless shelter.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


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Thomas J. Noel, "Holy Ghost Catholic Church", [Denver, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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