St. Paul’s celebrates completion of early 20th century Old Stone Church’s exterior renovation |

St. Paul’s celebrates completion of early 20th century Old Stone Church’s exterior renovation

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church recently celebrated the completion of a major renovation to the exterior of the adjoining historic Old Stone Church.

The unassuming Steamboat Springs church, which served as the original St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and is still used today, was built in 1913 by architect Art E. Gumprecht, often referred to as Steamboat’s master builder. As of late this summer, its exterior facelift has been completed.

A large part of the work entailed the painstaking process of removing, cleaning and replacing the church’s 26 intricate stained glass windows, some of which date back to 1913. It also included a roof replacement and stone repointing.

The next phase of the project, the goal of which is to ensure the facility’s continued use by the community for many years, will focus on the Old Stone Church’s interior rehabilitation and refurbishment of its original fir floors.

A $200,000 grant from the History Colorado State Historical Fund — actually funded via gaming revenues from Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek — as well as donations from the congregation and community members.

History of the Old Stone Church

The Episcopal denomination can trace its history back to the 1860s when the first ministry was organized in Steamboat Springs.

According to St. Paul’s application for historic resource designation, bishops would travel by wagon or horseback to hold occasional services for Steamboat Episcopalians at various sites, including The Welcome Inn, the Routt County Courthouse, the Methodist Church and the Masonic Hall.

As prosperity came to the area thanks to the discovery of extensive coal fields in the 1890s and Steamboat’s population grew, local Episcopalians purchased lots on the corner of Ninth and Oak streets in the city’s original addition. By 1910, the people of St. Paul’s decided it was time to build their own church and members of the Women’s Guild raised $3,000 for the project by selling cookbooks.

Architect Art E. Gumprecht, who also built the Mesa Schoolhouse and the house across the street from the stone church that now houses Yampa Valley Kitchen, was awarded the contract to build the church. He was given 90 days to complete the project. The church, which was big enough to accommodate 85 people, was consecrated Dec. 7, 1913.

Source: Steamboat Springs Historic Preservation Commission’s application for historic resource designation submitted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | By Lisa Schlichtman

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