Handy Chapel

Grand Junction, Colorado

The Handy Chapel, built in 1892 and put on the National Register in 1994, preserves some of the cultural heritage of Grand Junction’s African American community. The church and its land were originally deeded to the African American citizens of Grand Junction, not to a specific congre­gation, and the property continues to be communally used and maintained. While historically open to all ethnic groups, the church has consistently offered spiritual and economic assis­tance to African Americans.

Chamberlin Architects prepared an Historic Structure Assessment (HSA) to ascer­tain the existing condition of the 1,666 sf chapel and its asso­ciated house. Both build­­ings were in need of immediate atten­tion.

The chapel, because of its continuous use, had had some on-going maintenance and was in better condition than the house, which had been boarded up for approxi­mately 12 years. We provided recom­menda­tions for rehabilitation and stabilization based on physical examination of the structures and grounds, research of existing records, searches of websites, interviews, and reviews of information contained in the National Register Nomination.

Chamberlin Architects followed our report by preparing a successful submittal to the Colorado Historical Society for a State Historical Fund Grant which funded the design and construction of the rehabilitation.