Byzantine Catholic chapel to join Summerhaven, Arizona community

A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star | Chuck Albanese works on some lettering ona Byzantine-style dome that will be installed at a chapel in Arizona on Mount Lemmon.

Amidst a cathedral of trees once charred by the Aspen Fire, a small chapel is under construction in the mountain village of Summerhaven. - The 853-square-foot Byzantine Catholic chapel is being built on Tucson Avenue just east of the Mt. Lemmon General Store and Gift Shop. If construction proceeds on schedule, the chapel dedicated to Our Lady Undoer of Knots should open this fall for public use.

Other than services in the community center and other buildings, Mount Lemmon resident Bob Zimmerman said he doesn’t know of any other dedicated church building in Summerhaven. Zimmerman’s father opened a sawmill and juggled other endeavors on the mountain after falling in love with the area on a hunting trip in the 1930s. Bob Zimmerman, now 81, spent summers on Mount Lemmon as a child and moved back to Summerhaven in adulthood. He runs Mount Lemmon Realty, Sawmill Run Restaurant and the post office, he said.

“When I had the inn before it burned down, we had church in the ballroom,” he said. The family lost it in the 1970s to fire. “And on Saturday nights after dancing we would clean up and clear out for church the next morning.”


Eastern Europe meets the American frontier

The chapel and the connected rectory and bell tower follow the Boyko style of traditional 16th-century wooden Ukrainian churches, said project architect Chauncey Meyer. The livable space in the rectory is about 550 square feet.

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