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AN Architecturally significant building

The Telluride Tourism Board sums up hundreds of years of history so well: “For centuries, the Telluride area has been a special destination. From the days when Ute Indians spent summers on the Valley Floor, through the mining era and arrival of the ski industry, to today, where our valley is considered one of the most iconic mountain destinations in the world. Throughout that time, the town and the people that call it home have embraced a frontier spirit, a warm, friendly demeanor and an insatiable thirst for all the adventure these mountains provide.”

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church was erected in 1896 and is part of the Telluride National Historic Landmark District. On August 5, 1896, the Telluride Daily Journal reported:

Those who have labored so long and earnestly to the end that Telluride might have a Catholic church are about to see success crown their efforts. The building committee have purchased from W. A. Taylor for a consideration of $400 a piece of ground 100×117 feet at the corner of Galena Avenue and Spruce Street, and at once will begin grading and preparing the ground for the building of a substantial stone foundation. The church building will be frame, 28×40 feet with a handsome steeple enclosing a bell…It is understood Rev. Father O’Rourke will have charge of the handsome structure when completed.
Telluride Daily Journal, 1986


The building was completed by the end of the year, and it was dedicated with a mass held on January 6, 1897. The rear hipped-roof section of the building historically served as the parsonage. The church is little changed from its original construction.
It was erected for a reported cost of $4800.00, under the direction of Father Cornelius O’Rourke. Attended by Catholics primarily of Italian and Austrian descent, the church membership was at 200 by 1899. After the church’s construction, this neighborhood northeast of downtown Telluride became known as “Catholic Hill.” A native of Ireland where he was born in October 1861, Father O’Rouke had immigrated to America in 1880. Prior to coming to Telluride, he had resided in Denver and at Rico.
The wooden figures of the Stations of the Cross were carved in the Tyrol area of Austria.
As noted in the Architectural Inventory Form from the Town of Telluride’s Statement of Significance
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is architecturally significant for its excellent expression of the Carpenter Gothic style of architecture. Displaying excellent integrity, it is Telluride’s only example of this style, often associated with churches in mining towns throughout western Colorado. The building is also historically significant as Telluride’s only remaining historic church that has not been razed or significantly altered and converted to other uses. It has had a profound impact on Telluride’s cultural development. This building is individually eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and in the State Register of Historic Properties. It is also a contributing resource within the Telluride National Historic Landmark District.
Colorado Cultural Resource Survey - Architectural Inventory Form

St. Pat's Mass Times

Daily Mass (T-F): 8:00am

Saturday: 5:30pm

Sunday: 9:00am & 5:00pm

Parish Office Hours

Tuesday - Friday

8:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Church Location

301 North Spruce

Telluride, CO 81435