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Christ Chapel

Area Address Building Status Architectural Style
South/ Southeast 1464 University Dr.
Boise, Idaho 83725
Public Gothic Revival

Christ Chapel (for scheduling information, please call BSU at 426-2618) One of the oldest and notably historical buildings in Idaho, Christ Chapel currently stands on Broadway and University Drive and is the oldest Protestant church in all of Idaho, Montana, and Utah. It was originally built on Seventh and Bannock streets and erected in 1866. At the time it cost $1500 in gold which was earned by the women of the congregation through ice cream socials, selling fancy work and quilts, and talent shows. The organ and the wood for the church were shipped to Boise from Cape Horn. Reverend St. Michael Fackler held the first services on September 2nd 1866, but he died in October of the same year. The congregation named the church in his honor, St. Michael’s, on August 29th 1867. It moved from its place on seventh and Bannock in 1902 when St. Michaels cathedral was dedicated; it had served as the primary place of Episcopal worship until St. Michael’s Cathedral was built. It was then renamed Christ Chapel and moved to Fifteenth and Ridenbaugh until 1963. In 1963 the board for the church was formed in order to relocate, restore, and operate the historic church because St. Michael’s indicated they could no longer do so. On May 17th 1964 it was rededicated and moved to its current location on the Boise State Campus. The church had been the setting of many early religious events that took place in Idaho’s history. Today, the church is still owned and operated by the Christ Chapel Historical Society. According to Alan Virta, Head of Special Collections at BSU, "The corporation consists of three persons: a representative from Boise State University, a representative from St. Michael's Parish of the Episcopal Church, and a representative of Sons and Daughters of Idaho Pioneers. The current registered agent for the corporation is Steve Swain, Director of Facilities Operation and Maintenance of Boise State University." The three original members of this board were William Spofford Jr. (St. Michael’s), Pearl Koontz (Sons and Daughters of Idaho Pioneers), and Eugene Chaffee (Boise State). Its primary use is weddings and it is popular due to its $50 an hour price and old history. The stained glass windows—gothic style—are all original aside from one robbery that occurred forcing it to be replaced. The window in the back behind the pastor’s chair depicts the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. The benches are also all original, and although the organ is not original it was made to be representative of the time period. The bell atop the church is still in working condition, weighs 439 pounds and can still be heard for miles.

Building submitted by Janessa Bennnett and Callie Lindsay

User Comments

Lorna Wood - Jun 30, 2013
It is a beautiful chapel. I have to play the organ for a weddint July 20. I am wondering if it is a pump organ as I have never played one.

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The BAP is an education project, not a commercial site. All pictures on this website were taken by BAP participants unless otherwise noted. Student research was compiled from interviews with building owners, architects, and/or occupants, with help from preservation experts in the community. We try our best to do quality research but we cannot guarantee the veracity of our oral and historical research. If you see an inaccuracy, please help us by emailing BAP advisor Doug StanWiens at info@boisearchitecture.org.