Echoes of the Past
History of the Community Church of Aspen
By the time this church building was finished (1890), it was one of the finest of seven Protestant churches in Aspen. The corner stone laying ceremony was attended by 1,000 people, and the items in the corner stone included a Bible, a late copy of the Official Paper of the Presbyterian Church, late city papers, names of officers of the church, and workmen building the building. It took a little more than ten months to build the imposing stone structure that remains today an example of true Victorian church architecture.
In an article in the Aspen Daily Times, March 3, 1891, it was described as follows:
"It is nearly square with a steep roof, and a large, round, tower; being somewhat in the style of an ancient feudal castle... The comfortable oaken pews, arranged in semi-circular form, the floor sloping towards the pulpit and covered with a Brussels carpet, the galleries on three sides of the auditoriam, and the beautiful stained glass windows, were among the first features that attracted attention upon entering."
When hard times came to Aspen and its people, houses and churches began to move away. This sturdy building stood through Aspen's difficult years as a place of worship.
At the time of the First World War, sentiment for combining the Presbyterian and Methodist congregations began to grow. In 1920, it became the First Federated Church, combinging the two congregations to be served by a Methodist minister.
In 1934, the Presbyterian and Methodist churches voted to exchange church properties in Aspen and Loma, Colorado. At that time it became known as the Aspen Community Church.
There is little in Aspen that has remained the same over the last 100 years, with the exception of the surrounding mountains and a very few historic buildings.
This church building has been restored and is now entering its second century. May the years ahead be good years for the community and church. May people's faith in God be enriched by worshipping in this place.