Like the Broadmoor, Pauline Chapel is a result of the wealthy Penrose Family. They are credited with many buildings and cultivation projects around Colorado Springs.
While the Broadmoor Hotel was being built under Spencer Penrose’s watchful eye, his wife was supervising the building of a delicate chapel across the lake. Her vision for the chapel was Italian Renaissance and the design for the chapel was based on a 14th century model in the Vatican. A Scotsman, Thomas MacLaren, was the chosen architect. He saw art as architecture, and had his hand in many well-known buildings around Colorado Springs.
Originally, Pauline Chapel was not planned as a parish church. Built in 1918, it was a “rest” chapel for the use of hotel guests.
Transformations with Pauline Chapel began to take place during and after the two World Wars. After Julie’s daughter and her family had narrowly escaped tragedy at the hands of the German Army in World War I, St. Paul’s Chapel was dedicated in 1919 amidst considerable fanfare in thanksgiving for their safe deliverance. Renamed “Pauline” after her only grandchild, the Pauline Memorial Chapel became a Catholic mission under the care of St. Mary’s in downtown Colorado Springs. In 1925 the chapel became the focal point of a new parish, to be named St. Paul’s, with a new rectory and its own pastor.
During the years following World War II, Julie Penrose suffered personal and family tragedy that set the course for the chapel’s facelift. She dedicated the rest of her life to the chapel’s remodeling and obtaining beautiful adornments for its interior. The chapel served as a source to channel Julie’s personal pain--a distraction--and homage to her personal faith.
The Pauline Memorial Chapel is home to many worldly beauties. The hand-carved backdrop for the main altar is from Spain, as are the ivory and silver crucifix hanging above the altar. The gilded tabernacle and reliquary were fashioned in Mexico. Other unique furnishings include a Bishop’s throne from England and four chapel kneelers that belonged to King Louis XVI. Some of the most valuable acquisitions made by Julie Penrose are the altar pieces flanking the sanctuary. Flemish in origin, the statues of St. John and the Blessed Mother Mary both date back to the early 16th century and have undergone significant restorations.
New windows were installed after World War II and The Rose Window in the choir loft was added, depicting the Blessed Mother’s crowing as Queen of Heaven.
The last of Julie’s projects was a gift of pipe organ and chimes to the chapel. The installation was completed in 1955 and Julie Penrose passed away in 1956.
The new St. Paul’s Church opened in 1959.
The Pauline Memorial Chapel continues to be used for weddings and daily mass. It was named to the national historical registers in June of 2001.