Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Shove Memorial Chapel

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Institution Name: Colorado College
Original/Historic Place Name: Shove Memorial Chapel
Location on Campus: 1010 N. Nevada Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1931original construction Gray, John
Designer: John Gray
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Romanesque revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: Indiana limestone
Roof: ceramic tile
1931-present (2006)chapel (including Chaplain's office)
1931-present (2006)auditorium

Shove Memorial Chapel (1931) was the last stone building erected on campus, closing down an era of construction that began in the late 1800s and did not resume until after World War II. The chapel, sited at the east end of the east-west axis of the central quadrangle, completed the baroque plan set out by General William Jackson Palmer's planners in the early 1870s. The chapel has the most lavish, elegant materials and appointments of any building on campus and remains in excellent condition.

Eurgene Percy Shove, long a member of the college's Board of Trustees, gave $450,000 for the chapel's construction and maintenance. Shove's ancestors comprised numerous English clergy, and Shove sought to memorialize them with the chapel. Like many of the college's benefactors, Shove derived much of his fortune from the gold mines of nearby Cripple Creek

John Gray, a Pueblo architect, designed the chapel. Unlike all of the college's earlier buildings, which were constructed of regional stone, the chapel was made of Indiana limestone. The building was designed in the Norman Romanesque style, except for its bathrooms, which are Art Deco.

Shove is known for its fine stained glass windows and ceiling paintings, as well as hand carvings on both stone and wood. Writing in the preface of This Glorious and Transcendant Place (published by the college in 1981), former Dean of the College Timothy Fuller claims: "Both in its historical references, and in its structure and decoration, Shove Memorial Chapel seeks to harmonize, in a single, symbolic program, the sciences and humanities, theology and philosophy, and the threads of English and American culture, by means of which Colorado College is connected to the ancient foundations of our civilization. It is this background from which the college, as it is today, has evolved."

Colorado College in its early years had associations with the Congregationalist Church, but Shove Chapel has been non-denominational from its beginnings.


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