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Going to the Chapel

The 1859 Is The Perfect Place to Eat, Drink and Be Married

Stories of revival and renewal abound in downtown Loveland. New buildings have risen from the ashes. Crumbling buildings have gotten facelifts. New construction has appeared where once there was none. And the community has embraced each new grand opening with open arms (and wallets). 

None of this is news. But there are a few undiscovered gems yet left in the land of love. In fact, one is tucked just around the corner from the fire station on South 3rd Street: a gorgeous chapel that has stood watch over our city’s progress for the past 163 years.

Now appropriately named The 1859, this historic chapel has undergone a renovation and rejuvenation of its own into a gathering space and home under the watchful eye of owners Kate and Shane Harden. 

Divine Intervention

In 2012, Shane (lead pastor at Branches Church) and Kate went searching for a new location for their church. The city planner directed them to consider the then-abandoned chapel—but it wasn’t an immediate fit. 

“After we looked at the church, we discussed with contractors how to make it usable for services, and ultimately decided it wasn’t the best option,” Kate says. “That evening, Shane said, ‘If it’s not to be our new church home, then how about let’s make it our home?’” 

This notion led to a much larger conversation over all of the reasons why transforming a church into a home was not going to happen—and the idea went by the wayside. However, over time, the Hardens used the building for their ministry and got used to it being part of their lives anyway. 

It was only after they discovered a developer was interested in the building that they decided it was time to try to purchase the church for themselves. 

Initially, the developers won the bid for the church. But once the current owners (a group of bishops from the Church of God in Columbus) learned the developer was going to tear down the chapel, they asked the Hardens if they were still interested.

“They asked if we could meet them on the price,” Kate explains. “We weren’t sure how we could afford to purchase and renovate the property and told them we couldn’t—but ultimately the property was awarded to us that night in December 2013 for our original asking price.” 

Open to Experiences 

Over seven months, the Hardens (with family and friends) demoed the building—taking the walls, electrical and plumbing down to the studs. It then took the better part of a year to complete the renovation and construction of both the warm and inviting chapel space as well as their private residence—in July 2014, they moved in. Then in November of 2021, The 1859 officially launched.

From weddings to retirement parties, corporate affairs to holiday open houses, The 1859 has hosted it—and is ready to be transformed into your perfect event with Kate’s help, now the space’s curator. 

Ins and Outs of The 1859 

Accommodations: The 1859 features an open room with 10 five-foot tables, chairs for 100, the historic bell to ring in your celebration, an outdoor patio area, the second story of the original Loveland schoolhouse (connected to the 1859) with a large screen and projector for movie viewings or presentations, and a bridal suite and grooms lounge.

Parking: Street, driveway and public parking.

Bar Set Up Details: Renters must have an insured bartender to serve alcohol on the premises. 

Ways to Customize: In addition to the large historic room of the chapel, there is a theater/game room and a large garden/patio. Events can be customized to your needs. 

The1859.com | 111 S. 3rd St, Loveland

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