Groundbreaking Ceremony July 29

The day has finally come: We’re building a temple!

After years of planning and activity, and with the very generous support of a large group of donors, we are now ready to begin construction on a new home for the Zen Center of Denver. As we start this new phase, we invite you to a groundbreaking ceremony at 1856 S. Columbine Street from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 29, by way of celebrating this important milestone for our community.

Great Progress in Temple Building Project

As we begin 2018, we are happy to say that we have made tremendous progress toward the construction of our new temple.

First, we want to express our deep gratitude to all of you who have contributed in funds, time, labor and ideas to maintain our practice together and work toward our new temple home. And in this regard we have wonderful news to share: We are very close to fully funding the largest phase of our project!

Here are some details: A total of 96 people have contributed, with 49 from the community and 46 from our sangha. All in all, in 2017 we raised $746,359, which includes $194,425 on Colorado Gives Day, an additional matching donation of $180,000, and our portion of the Colorado Gives incentive ($16,418!). We were in the top 30 organizations raising funds through Colorado Gives. This is absolutely amazing for a small independent religious organization. And it means that our temple dream will be a reality!

Of course, we still have some ways to go. Currently we are finalizing site plans and construction documents for submittal to the city, and when those plans are complete, we will also have a more concrete and detailed budget. However, as it stands, with a total estimated project cost of $2,137,000, we project a fundraising gap of $217,000. We will continue to seek ways to fill that gap, and of course if you or anyone you know are able to contribute, it will bring us that much closer to full funding, and allow more flexibility in terms of materials and finishes.

Meanwhile, we are folding in our initial landscaping plan for the site and will be submitting our plans to the city in the next few weeks; it may take up to three months to resolve permit issues, and we hope to break ground April 2018. Note that the initial landscaping does not include the contemplative garden in the zendo courtyard; for this we will likely be working with more specialized landscapers at a later time, with an additional round of fundraising required.


We also continue to refine our vision of the temple building, and are excited to share some new renderings of the building interior especially.

We have some new renderings of the building exterior as well, showing finishes made with Shou-sugi-ban, a kind of Japanese charred wood.

Lastly, we thank those sangha members who recently helped with removing two more trees on the property in preparation for the start of construction. Already we’ve come a long way from where we started; now we just need to keep moving forward. Gassho!

tree removal

New Temple Renderings

Last Sunday, architect Todd Afflerbaugh of Semple Brown Design kindly presented to the sangha the most recent renderings of our planned temple building at 1856 S. Columbine. The most noticeable change is the significant alteration in the second-story floor plan, which allows for a more interesting stepped roof form on the southwest corner. The renderings also show some additional detail in terms of materials. We hope you’ll agree that it’s looking beautiful!

exterior-view from buchtell

exterior-view from park

zendo-Concealed Truss w wood ceiling