The Peel House was built in 1905 and 1906 by William and Patty Jewett. He was in the mining and then banking industries. The original architects were Gove & Walsh based in Denver. The house was built in the Italian Renaissance style, and with the carriage house, were the only buildings on the west side of this block until the 1960s. The Jewetts only lived in the house until 1913 when they moved to Pasadena as Patty’s health was in decline. They built an identical home there that is still standing today and has been also recently renovated. The next family to purchase the house was the Giddings, another local family, that had ties in banking and real estate in the area. They stayed there until the late 1940s when the house was vacated and then stood empty until First Lutheran Church purchased the property in 1958.
First Lutheran Church used the building for all operations from 1958 until 1965. The parlor/library was used as worship space with the pipe organ keyboard upfront and the pipes in the grand staircase landing. Sunday School was held upstairs, and an office was housed in the building as well. Many modifications were made in the 60s and 70s to use the space for Christian Education, small groups, and hosting other events and programs. In 1965, the Sanctuary of the main building was completed and worship along with the pastors’ offices moved to that building. All other functions in the Peel House continued. In the 1980s, the building began to house 12-step programs which continue to gather today (22ish groups currently). We also housed Lutheran Family Services Refugee and Asylee program for many years in the 80s and 90s. As the main building continued to expand with new additions, the use of the Peel House decreased and the building was maintained, but not necessarily improved upon.
In 2016 upon the announcement of Pastor Paul Peel’s retirement, it was proposed that the building be renovated and rededicated in his honor. An assessment was conducted of the building to determine if it was still stable enough to undergo renovation. It was found that the building did indeed have a very strong structure and would be suitable for renovation. However, the congregation was then in the midst of a search for a new senior pastor and did not want to undertake a capital campaign until a pastor had been called. The assessment/renovation team continued to move forward with CRP Architects to develop a plan for renovation. In August of 2018, a new senior pastor was called, and the project moved forward. We began a capital campaign in the fall of 2019 with a goal of $3.1 million in commitments, and we received $3.6 in commitments. The congregation was ready for a big project that would have an impact on our ministry and our community.
Nunn Construction was hired to lead the project with CRP Architects and Senger Design Team to lead the furnishings and finishes. Construction began in October 2020 and was completed in August 2021.
The congregation has been generous and supportive of this project and excited to offer space to our ministry partners and neighbors. In 2023, we will once again house Lutheran Family Services Refugee and Asylee Program on the third level of the building. We continue to host support group meetings, and we have a new Youth Center on the lower level.
Since the building has opened, we have hosted many community organizations, ministry partners, and other groups in the building for meetings, retreats, seminars, and fundraisers. On Wednesday evenings, we have our Wednesday Night LIGHT worship service in the parlor.
We are excited to offer use of this space to each of your organizations at low cost or no cost for different meetings and functions that you might need to host.
As a part of the renovation, we wanted to maintain the historic features of the main level while upgrading to fully functional modern amenities. In the renovation, we completely replaced the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing of the building. The windows were all replaced and original hardware was refinished and used. All of the wall sconces are original and were rewired to be used today. Through the dining room is a new addition that houses the elevator, making the building ADA accessible to all guests. We added new restrooms on the main level and second level, all ADA accessible. The kitchen was fully remodeled, keeping only the original safe, upper cabinets in the same area, and the bread warmer on the radiator. The second level now houses meeting rooms, restrooms, lounge, and a coffee bar.