Longmont Presbyterian College, 546 Atwood St., was Longmont, Colorado’s first college. It was founded by the Presbyterian Synod of Colorado on November 24, 1885. The people of Longmont made a generous offer of land, cash, and free water as an incentive to build the college here.
Construction began on the building in 1886, and it was intended to serve as the south wing of the college under the original design of a much larger campus. This building was the only portion of the larger construction that was completed, and it was designed by Denver architect, Fred Hall.
Dr. William O. Thompson, the local Presbyterian minister, became the college’s first president, and it opened with 16 students. The college operated until 1889, offering classes in Literature, Latin, Greek, the Sciences, History, and Mathematics.
Longmont Presbyterian College was short lived due to financial difficulties and beginning in 1890, it served as the home to a succession of elementary and secondary schools including: Presbyterian Academy, St. Joseph’s Academy, and a Catholic High School, the latter two operated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. It served as St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children and later as St. Coletta’s of the Rockies from 1941-1949. In 1949, the property was purchased and converted into an apartment complex, which it remains today.
The architectural details of this formal, two-story, Italianate style building seem asymmetrical since it was originally intended to be part of a larger complex. The building is faced in red brick with a high foundation of rusticated red sandstone. It includes a screened-in porch (on the right side of the building), and the property is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. It was added to the @National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
To learn more about this and other #NationalRegisterofHistoricPlaces in and around LONGMONT, visit http://www.historycolorado.org/archaeologists/boulder-county.