Building Index – Building 27

Building 27

293 Roslyn St., Denver, CO 80230
[GPS N39°43.278 x W104°54.085]

Lowry’s Army Air Corps Chaplaincy was activated on 13 September 1940, about three years after Lowry Field’s activation. Worship services were held in field tents near the 6th Avenue and Quebec Street gate. Construction of Lowry’s first buildings dedicated to worship services began on 8 July 1941. Both Chapels #1 and #2 were completed and dedicated on 23 November 1941…exactly two weeks prior to the invasion of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Chapel #1 became the designated Protestant Chapel, while Chapel #2 became the designated Catholic Chapel. In 1942 Lowry expanded to include Lowry #2, and Chapel’s #3 and #4 were built and dedicated.

President Richard M. Nixon issued Executive Order #11593 on 15 May 1971 decreeing that structures and objects of historical significance be preserved. In August of 1971, anticipating the eventual destruction of WWII cantonment- type chapel facilities, Chaplain Col. John Thomas requested Chapel #1, Building 27, be retained because it was the active spiritual home of Dwight D. Eisenhower while President and visitor to Denver. It should be designated as an “Eisenhower Memorial.” Dedication ceremonies were held in 1982.

The remaining three chapels were decommissioned, with Chapel #3 torn down in November of 1973, Chapel #2 in April of 1974, and Chapel #4 in November of 1974.

[Source: John Bond, “Lowry Hertiage Museum”]

#1. Chapel #1, Building 27, one of 4 Chapels built on Lowry, was originally designated for use by the Protestant faith. With construction beginning on the 8th of July, 1941, it was dedicated just fourteen days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 23 November 1941. President Dwight Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, attended church here from 1953-1955 when Lowry was the designated summer White House. This chapel became known as The Eisenhower Chapel , remains intact, and has been repurposed. The simple Colonial Revivalesque clapboard structure is a rare surviving example of many such standard military-designed chapels built not only across the nation, but on many posts world-wide wherever America’s military was stationed. When three duplicate wooden chapels were demolished at Lowry in the 1970’s, the Eisenhower connection saved this chapel. Now providing for a variety of uses from weddings to public meetings, it is a centerpiece for the community and managed by the Lowry Foundation . It is both a National and Denver historic landmark.
#2. Chapel #2, Building 481, Lowry AFB, 1955. This chapel was originally utilized by the Catholic faith. Construction of Chapel #2 began shortly after the start of Chapel #1. This chapel, as well as Chapel #1, were both dedicated on 23 November, 1941. Chapel #2 was decommissioned and torn down in April of 1974.
#3. Building 481, Chapel #2, Lowry AFB, 1955, Interior.