We are Grant Avenue Community Center & Sacred Place Inc., in Denver, Colorado. We are a small local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides safe and affordable event spaces for other nonprofits, small businesses and start-ups that focus on, but are not limited to, the arts, cultural, continuing education, and spiritual enrichment for all of Denver's diverse, unique communities and groups. We want them to be able to host any type of events from board meetings, fundraisers, seminars and all events in between, so they can focus on fulfilling their mission and goals while being able to afford event spaces.
Originally known as Grant Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, we were home to the first Methodist congregation in South Denver. Designed in 1908 by architect Harry J. Manning, one of Denver's finest architects, the building presents beautifully arched windows with intricately detailed stained glass, each unique like a finger print and beautifully bold flying buttress in the Sanctuary. The spire-topped tower and masonry construction remains a striking example of the Gothic Revival style, which became popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1919, the building received its first addition, and the church quickly became a vibrant center for community activities. Throughout its history, names such as Speer, Iliff, Byers, and Evans could be found among its supporters.
Over time the congregation declined and the sacred site was destined to become lofts. In hopes of preserving the historic landmark, the United Methodist congregation gifted the building to the community in 2001. Their hope was to continue its legacy as a gathering place for arts, cultural and spiritual activities that enrich lives and engage visitors. The 30,000 square-foot building features a sanctuary that seats 400 people, one of the finest historic pipe organs in Colorado that is still used today, a theater that seats 150 people, a kitchenette and several meeting rooms.
In 2004-2005, most of the building interior was repainted and re-carpeted, and a central evaporative cooling system was installed. The funds for these renovation projects have been provided entirely by building partners and the community. The Colorado Historical Society – State Historic Fund awarded Grant Avenue a $137,000 grant for historic preservation, and the center responded by raising $80,000 in matching funds, after which much restoration work was done to the exterior of the building. Funding partners include Gates, Piton and Boettcher Foundations.
Today Historic Grant Avenue is a thriving event center for its neighborhood and Denver's diverse communities. There is a large range of musical and theatrical performances, continuing education seminars, board meeting, galas, fundraisers, wide-range of music rehearsals, special events, and religious service that regularly take place at Historic Grant Avenue. More than 25 community groups and local organizations are year-round tenants ranging from the Mile High Freedom Band (LGBT orchestra) to the Mile High Harmonica Club to The Colorado Honor Band Assn. (youth orchestras), Tai Chi, Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra, art classes, Maestro Music for children and so many more meet at this historic building and utilize its diverse event spaces weekly.
End of 2019 Historic Grant Avenue began exciting new renovations to restore, revive, and renew it's event spaces to provide more to its tenants and anyone needing event space. In 2020 Historic Grant Avenue is aiming to receive grants and funding to restore our roof, fix the bell tower that was struck by lightening in 2016, re-paint the walls, add mounted projectors to four rooms along with a mobile projector, revive the Sanctuary while preserving the historic beauty by extending the stage to one level, reupholster the pews, restore the stain glass on the West-side, new carpet, new paint, large projector and add a large screen that can be hidden, but used for performances and large seminars. Our Theater needs new flooring, new curtains, small bathroom, and a ticketing area. These changes will enable us to provide even more for Denver's communities, so they can continue to fulfill their missions, reach their goals and be even more successful. We are honored to be apart of and even better becoming a staple in the South Broadway, Baker, West Wash Park and Bonnie Brae Neighborhoods. Your financial and overall support will enable us to achieve our goals even sooner, so everyone else can be successful!
Thank you everyone!
Board of Directors
Lou Ann Garland
United Methodists Representative & Board Member & Personnel Committee