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St. Thomas Seminary Chapel

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1926–1931, Jacques Benedict. 1300 S. Steele St. (NR)

On what was then a farm, Bishop John Henry Tihen opened a seminary in 1908. He engaged Jacques Benedict to design its first grand structure, the Philosophy Building (1926). The twelve-story Renaissance Revival Tihen Tower (1927), also by Benedict, is guarded at each corner by 12-foot-tall angels carved by Enrico Licari. Attached to the tower is Benedict's awesome St. Thomas Chapel (1931). In this exquisite Renaissance Revival church, Benedict employed over two hundred different shapes, sizes, and colors of brick. Arabesque patterns in pearl, gold, and red enhance the terrazzo floor. Eighty-five arched windows of various sizes include seventeen from the Munich stained glass studios of Franz Meyer. The marble altar was carved in Italy from eighth-century designs, and carved, pierced rafters support a coffered tile ceiling. After the seminary closed in the early 1990s, the Archdiocese of Denver moved its offices there.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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