L2 Church Building History
Note* L2 Church is a reformed non-denominational Christian church and is not affiliated with the Church of Christ Science. We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. for our weekly service. Learn more about L2, check out our recent sermons, and come visit us!
Architect: Harry Edbrooke
Year Built: 1921
L2 Church, since its foundation in Littleton as The Master’s Bible Church, has served both congregants and members of the wider community since 1992. The congregation has been the careful steward of Fifth Church of Christ Scientist building since its purchase the building from the original congregation in 1995, including successfully completing a State Historical Fund grant in 1998 for exterior restoration.
This building is historically significant not only for its association with its designer, noted Denver architect Harry W. J. Edbrooke, but also for its relation to the history of the Church of Christ Scientist in Denver. The First Church of Christ Scientist in Denver was founded in 1889 and built the first Christian Science worship center west of the Mississippi in 1892.
The church represents the significant architectural abilities of one of its members, Harry Edbrooke. Mr. Edbrooke was born in Chicago and came to Denver in 1908 at the invitation of his uncle, the highly esteemed Denver architect Frank Edbrooke. Frank had come to Denver from Chicago in 1879 to supervise the construction of the Tabor Block and the Tabor Grand Opera House at 16th & Curtis that had been designed by his brother Willoughby Edbrooke. The Frank Edbrooke & Company architectural firm was the largest in Colorado and designed many of Denver’s prominent buildings and homes, including the Brown Palace and Oxford Hotels, the Denver Post Building and the Colorado State Museum Building.
The building is architecturally significant for its classic display of Italian renaissance-style architecture. From its terrazzo foyer and theater-style auditorium on the inside, to the arched, paned, artist-glass windows with architraves of molded stone on the exterior, it stands as an excellent example of that style as well as a monument to the fine craftsmanship of Denver’s builders in the early 1900s.
Completed in 1929, the building was designed in 1921 and was built in two phases. The 1921 phase included the site excavation and construction of the Sunday School room, church offices and reading rooms. The second phase consisted of the construction of the superstructure. The superstructure, of light buff colored brick with terra cotta trimmings, rests on a granite base. The front of the building facing north on Colfax, presents three imposing entrance doors that are serviced by a wide approach of terraced steps.
L2 Church Building Timeline
Introduction to the Church of Christ, Science (Not affiliated with L2): The Christian Science denomination was developed by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), who had long struggled with chronic illness. In 1875 she published a book, Science and Health, which argued that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone. In 1879 Eddy and 26 followers were granted a charter to found the Church of Christ, Scientist, and in 1894, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was built in Boston, Massachusetts. In many ways, Denver was an ideal home for Christian Science – as Denver’s arid climate was thought to be highly beneficial for tuberculosis sufferers, and thus attracted many chronically ill residents during its early settlement.
1892 - The first Christian Science worship hall built west of the Mississippi was constructed in Denver in 1892 at Logan and 18th Street.
1906 - the First Church of Christ, Scientist was built at 14th Street and Logan Street. Designed by Fredrick Sterner
Between 1906 and 1920, five Christian Science temples were erected. The rapidly growing population of Christian Scientists in Denver necessitated the creation of additional congregations across the city.
1920, members of the newly established Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist purchased the land at Colfax Avenue and Columbine for their new church. A member of the congregation, Harry Edbrooke, drafted architectural drawings for the building.
1921, a contractor began excavating the site and erected a Sunday School room, church offices, and reading rooms. The church held Sunday Services in the school room beginning January 1st, 1922.
In early 1929, the congregation began construction of the main sanctuary, which was opened for services Thanksgiving Day, 1929. The Denver Post described the building as "a beautiful edifice in Italian renaissance style on a terrace overlooking the City Park esplanade."
1932 - The Church was dedicated after the new congregation had completely paid off the building’s debt. Reporting on the dedication of the church, the Denver Post noted that the building was done in a "harmonious, simple" style, with gray and buff stone for the exterior. It was reported that the new building included all the latest air-conditioning machinery and comfortable theater seats in the auditorium, which could hold up to 800 people. The building has a red tiled hipped roof, terra cotta-trimmed brick walls, and a granite foundation. Three two-story arches project slightly from the east and west facades, while matching fenestration serve as the entry on the north façade. These arches have paneled doors, bracketed terra cotta panels, and arched windows. The Post article also notes that "the building front, facing Colfax Avenue, presents imposing entrance doors, with a wide approach of terraced steps.” While preliminary architectural design drawings from 1921 envision the steps of the church as granite slabs, later 1929 construction documents change the material of the stairs to concrete. To this day, the church stands overlooking Colfax Avenue on its historic terrace, adjacent to the Classically-designed City Park Esplanade.
1995 - The Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist owned this historic building on Colfax until 1995. By that time, the congregation had dwindled and could no longer occupy the space. In October 1995, the property was purchased by reformed Christian church The Master’s Bible Church (aka L2 Church) from the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist.
1997 - The Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, completed in 1929, becomes a Denver historic landmark under the ownership of the L2 Church.
2016 - L2 Church currently owns and operates the building as a non-denominational, reformed Christian church. They hold one service each week Sundays at 9 a.m. We encourage you to join us for our weekly worship and message.
Notes on the Edbrooke family - Harry Edbrooke, architect of the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, was a congregant and one of many Edbrookes to make a dramatic impact on Denver’s built environment. In 1908, he moved to Denver to continue the family tradition of excellence in architecture, begun by his father, Willoughby Edbrooke, and his uncle, Frank Edbrooke. The Frank E. Edbrooke and Company architectural firm was the largest in Colorado, and designed prominent buildings throughout Denver, such as the Brown Palace, the Oxford Hotel, and the Denver Post Building (now demolished). Harry Edbrooke, while working in his uncle’s firm, proved to be an outstanding architect in his own right, designing the iconic illuminated Denver Gas & Electric Building at 15th and Champa, the First National Bank Building, and both the Ogden and Bluebird Theaters on Colfax Avenue.