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Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church in Conejos County

United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service National Register of Historic Places

Summary Paragraph

The 1927/48 Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, part of the oldest Catholic parish in Colorado, is located in the small unincorporated community of Conejos in the southwest corner of Colorado’s San Luis Valley. This high desert valley lying between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the east and the San Juan Range on the west was a focus of early Hispano settlement efforts beginning in the 1830s.

Conejos, founded ca. 1854, is twenty-eight miles south-southwest of Alamosa and just six miles north of the New Mexico border. The nominated area encompasses nearly all of a square block in the central part of Conejos, the county seat of Conejos County, at an elevation of 7,915’. The county courthouse and commercial buildings sit across the street to the north. The eight-acre nominated area includes ten resources. The four contributing resources are clustered in the northeast corner of the block: a concrete brick Spanish Colonial Revival-style church (1927/48), native stone shrine (1954), stone historical marker (1958), and frame and stucco wellhouse (pre-1965). 1 The remaining resources are of frame construction and are located in the southern three-quarters of the block. All were built after 1975 and are assessed as noncontributing due to construction after the period of significance. The property retains historic integrity


Narrative Description

The present Our Lady of Guadalupe Church dates to 1927/48. After an 1863 adobe church in this location partially burned in 1926, the 1927 rear portion of the building was constructed and attached to twin 1879 adobe towers and the façade that survived the conflagration. In 1948 the adobe towers and front were demolished, the nave was expanded one bay to the east, and the current front and towers were erected. The block containing the church and associated resources is located in the central part of Conejos and is oriented slightly west of true north-south. The church is located within an irrigated rectangle at the northeast corner of the block. The building faces east toward a lawn enclosed by a chainlink fence; a hedge extends along the fence to the north and three large blue spruce trees stand near the southeast corner of the church. The three other contributing resources within the district are located in or adjacent to this area. The 1954 native stone Lourdes Grotto is nestled under the spruce trees. A 1958 Colorado Historical Society historical marker describing the church’s history stands beside the sidewalk leading to church entrance. A pre-1965 north wellhouse lies south of the church just outside the chainlink fence. All but one of the district’s noncontributing resources is situated in the southern three quarters of the block. Most are fairly small in scale, and all were built after 1975. A frame shed (ca. 1975-1998) lies between the church and the north wellhouse. The 2004 frame parish hall, the largest resource within A rectangular (242’ x 111’) area at the northwest corner, which is used for the storage of construction materials and vehicles unrelated to the church, is not included within the district. Only real property, not water rights (per 36 CFR 60.6), is the subject of this nomination. The church has a well which is used to irrigate the grounds; the well does not supply any other property. The archaeological potential is unknown but should be considered with any future ground disturbing activities.


United States Department of the Interior National Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration Form NPS Form 10-900 OMB No. 1024-0018

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