Just at the start of the High Road to Taos (driving from Albuquerque) is El Sagrado Carazon, a New Mexico Catholic church founded as a mission in the early 17th-century. The church was initially destroyed during a revolt in 1680 but has been rebuilt (and destroyed) multiple times. It was destroyed by fire in the early 1900s, but was rebuilt in 1910 and then once more in 1947 in an adobe style with twin buttresses.
Mission San Xavier del Bac is a National Historic Landmark located a few miles south of Tucson, Arizona. Although the mission was founded in 1692, the original church was destroyed by Apache Indians in about 1770. The one above, completed in 1797, is considered one of the best examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the U.S. I visited early one morning and was adopted by a pair of local dogs as I walked up to the top of Grotto Hill which overlooks the church and the O’odham Nation Indian Reservation. Because of its long history, it’s been through both stages of neglect and restoration. Much of the restoration work was performed in the late 20th century after it was included on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is low-fire clay brick, stone and lime mortar. The interior is intricate, with fine wood work and baroque decorations throughout the chapel and altar areas. A few photos from the visit are below along with a pair from 1870 found in the Library of Congress collection.
Known as the Tourist Church, Seabreeze United Church of Christ is in Daytona Beach, Florida and was built in 1929. It’s a Mission Revival architectural style made of stone and is included on the National Register of Historic Places. This church replaced a smaller wooden church built in 1905 as the First Congregational Church of Seabreeze (the original name) grew. Many of the attendees were winter tourists visiting Florida which led to the name most still use today. In 1964 it became affiliated with the UCC and changed its name.
St. James Episcopal was founded as a mission church for the Dakota Indians (Santee Sioux) settling in the area after being forced out of Minnesota after the 1862 Sioux Uprising. The first church was built in 1885 but was destroyed by fire in 1925. A new white frame church was then built and remains today.
Built in 1760, San Jose De Gracia Catholic Church is along the High Road to Taos, New Mexico. The village of Las Trampas was established in 1751 by a dozen families receiving a land grant from the Spanish governor. The adobe walls are about six feet thick and the well-maintained church is considered one of the best preserved examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in New Mexico. The National Park Service has a good history of the location here. It’s located about ten miles away from San Lorenzo de Picuris.
The Mission Chapel of Our Lady of Light is the highlight of Lamy, New Mexico. The community was active when Lamy was the closest train stop to Santa Fe fifteen miles away. When railroad travel decreased, the town dried up. This Roman Catholic church was built in 1926, but was deconsecrated in 1994 due to low population in the town and the structural deterioration of the church. The good news is that there are efforts now underway to restore the building.