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Temple Aaron is designated a United States National Historic Landmark


December 13, 2023: Temple Aaron is thrilled to announce it has been designated as a National Historic Landmark (NHL) by the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

Listen: Colorado Matters on CPR:

Temple Aaron's Historic Achievement

Read: National Park Service: Trinidad'sTemple Aaron

Watch: Temple Aaron receives Endangered Places Progress Award

Temple Aaron is one of 16 sites across the country to receive NHL designation this year. NHLs are some of the nation’s most historically important buildings and sites, and are chosen for their historical, archeological, architectural, and cultural significance.


“It’s important that the places we deem nationally significant represent the historical and natural diversity of the American experience,” said Chuck Sams, Director of the National Park Service, which administers the NHL and NNL programs. “These new landmarks further illustrate and expand our country’s collective heritage and splendor.”   See the full National Park Service press release HERE

After a rigorous nomination and review process, Temple Aaron was deemed to have national historic significance based on three criteria: 1) its association with the westward migration of Jewish families and individuals from Europe between 1840-1924; 2) the leadership role of Temple Aaron’s founders in the civic life of the community and in its economic growth, in addition to its spiritual or religious life; and 3) the architectural importance of the physical building. 


Designation as an NHL adds important recognition and momentum for Temple Aaron’s historic preservation and congregation building efforts.  As many of you know, Temple Aaron nearly closed its doors in 2016 and was placed on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places list in 2017. Since then, with your help, we have achieved a number of milestones. We celebrated the Temple’s 130th anniversary in 2019 with a fabulous three-day, multidisciplinary gala and celebration. Our “Turn Up the Heat” campaign succeeded in replacing the temple’s boiler, and in 2021 Temple Aaron secured grants from the History Colorado State Historical Fund for emergency roof repairs. We launched a membership campaign in 2021, and the temple now has over 80 member families.   


Temple Aaron owes a debt of gratitude to Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI), who sponsored the NHL nomination under the guidance of National Park Service Golden Region staff. Working tirelessly to preserve important sites throughout Colorado, CPI has been instrumental in shepherding Temple Aaron’s application process from start to finish. Temple Aaron sincerely thanks CPI for its dedication and hard work, and is grateful to all the supporters who contributed to the NHL process with their time, talents, and financial contributions.


A celebration of this momentous achievement will be planned (date to be announced). All will be invited to attend, at which time a bronze plaque marking the NHL designation will be placed on the synagogue’s exterior.  


If you would like to read Temple Aaron’s nomination manuscript, you can click HERE. The application includes dozens of photos and incredible details about the temple’s rich history.

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