United Church Chapel Designated Local Historic Landmark By County Council


Los Alamos County Council took action on October 19 To officially designate The United Church’s Chapel a Local Historic Landmark. The history of The United Church began with the history of the Los Alamos community. Dedicated in May 1947, Jewish, Catholic, and Protestants used the United Church Chapel for their services before they eventually had their own places of worship built. Since late 1947, when The United Church of Los Alamos was chartered, the Chapel has been in continuous use as a place of gathering and worship in Los Alamos.    

To locally nominate a landmark or district, the process begins with an application to the Community Development Department (CDD). This process, developed by CDD staff and guided by the Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB), allows public and private property to be recognized for its historic value.  

“The efforts to create a Local Historic Landmark program began when Los Alamos County Council adopted the Los Alamos County’s Historic Preservation Ordinance 02-234 in 2013.   

The 2013 update of the ordinance strengthened and clarified the language for the preservation, protection, and enhancement of sites/objects within the County,” said Planning Manager Bryce Ternet, “and took a significant number of staff hours and research to ensure we created a program that aligned well with the County ordinances, as well as met the State and Federal requirements.” 

Per the County’s Development Code (Section 16-612), once a historic landmark is officially designated, the landmark is included on the official zoning map. The designation enacts regulations on the landmark property in addition to the zoning regulations already in effect.  

“We are fortunate to have a really involved Historic Preservation Advisory Board with dedicated historic preservationists,” explains CDD Director, Paul Andrus, “I am really proud of the hard work and collaboration between staff and the Board in bringing this designation forward.” 

The United Church’s Chapel is the first structure in Los Alamos County to be designated a Local Historic Landmark. With this designation, the Church is now eligible for grants through the Historic Preservation Fund through the State, as well as grant and loan programs. Federal income tax incentives are available for easements and rehabilitation. They will also have access to technical information on preservation and care of historic buildings from the National Park Service, which will help guide maintenance of the building and its history for generations to come. 

For additional information about the historic designation process, call CDD at 505-662-8120. For more information about The United Church, visit http://unitedchurchla.org/