Tuberculosis was big money for Colorado Springs in the early 1900’s. So much so that a 1917 Chamber of Commerce booklet devoted more than half of its 87 pages to detailing all the reasons why tuberculars should make the trek out west.
They could have nice, fresh, “germ-free” air and loads of sunshine. A stunning mountain climate would provide beautiful vistas and thin, dry air at the same time. And, as if those weren’t reason enough, welcoming citizens and local businesses were on hand to provide ample opportunities for rest and relaxation, a nourishing diet, and a charming social life. All of which, according to medical thinking of that time, were just what the doctor ordered for “lungers”.
Tuberculosis brought a tremendous amount of money to Colorado Springs, from wealthy patients to the booming medical industry. Architecturally as well, it helped to create the local cityscape, and you can see the impact of tuberculosis in buildings still standing today.
The influence is such that I’ve started researching housestories for a selection of those historic buildings. Coming up over the next few weeks and months I’ll include some housestories of TB-influenced architecture, from huge sanitariums to smaller independently-run boarding houses and tent cottages. So, stay tuned for that!
Photo Credit and Info for historic photograph at top: Copyright Pikes Peak Public Library District. Gift of Mean Stone, Jr., H. Chase Stone Collection, Image 051-6138.
Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. Colorado Springs: City of Sunshine. Colorado Springs: The Prompt Printery, 1917.