The La Foret Conference and Retreat Center sits on property once owned by one of Colorado's most important figures, Alice Bemis Taylor. Alice built two structures here that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Ponderosa Lodge and Taylor Memorial Chapel. The lodge, built in 1928 for Alice as a summer residence, was designed by J.J.B. Benedict in a unique rustic style using ponderosa pines found in the Black Forest. The chapel was built in 1929 to commemorate the life of Alice's late husband, Frederick, who had died recently. It was designed by architect John Gaw Meem, who would also design the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center in 1936, in the Santa Fe style. As such, it is a unique building in Colorado. Alice grew up in a wealthy family. Frederick was also wealthy and together they were very active philanthropists in the city. Today, the retreat center features cabins, a dining hall, sports fields and courts, and an outdoor theater.


  • Ponderosa Lodge
    Ponderosa Lodge
  • Taylor Memorial Chapel
    Taylor Memorial Chapel

Alice died in 1942. Her will deeded the property to what is now the United Church of Christ which continues to own it today (and runs the retreat center). All are welcome stay at the center. It is also a popular wedding venue.

"About." La Foret Conference and Retreat Center. Accessed November 28, 2016. http://www.laforet.org/home/history.

Green, Rev. Wilbur. "Ponderosa Lodge." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places. August 29, 2008. http://focus.nps.gov/GetAsset?assetID=0e4f1722-aa56-4cd1-b0ba-96cd1b117cff.

Green, Rev. Wilbur. "Taylor Memorial Chapel." April 15, 1999. National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places. http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/99000447.pdf

"Ponderosa Lodge." Wikipedia. Accessed November 28, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponderosa_Lodge. 

"Taylor Memorial Chapel." Wikipedia. Accessed November 28, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Memorial_Chapel.