A History of Hospitals

This is the third in a series of posts chronicling some of the tuberculosis-influenced architecture in Colorado Springs. See earlier posts here and here.

The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce’s 1917 brochure, City of Sunshine, advertised a list of eleven well-respected tuberculosis sanitoria and private boarding houses serving tuberculars. Interestingly, at least three of these institutions have persevered to modern times, growing into Colorado Springs’ main modern-day hospitals. Below is a then and now, in pictures and words:

Marie Gwynne Glockner opened the Glockner Tuberculosis Sanatorium in 1890, in honor of her husband Albert, who had died of the disease. The facility was later transferred to the Sisters of Charity, and is now known as Penrose Hospital. The original Glockner building, which featured “sun parlors, wide verandas, music rooms and a library,” was demolished in the 1960’s and replaced by today’s facility.

St. Francis Hospital, was established in 1887 by Dr. B.P. Anderson to serve railroad employees, and run in partnership with the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. St. Francis also served those with tuberculosis. Today, the hospital operates as St. Francis Health Center. And while the original building is still there, a more contemporary structure was placed directly in front, obscuring half of the earlier hospital facade.

Originally a Methodist facility that opened in 1911, Beth-El Hospital was built on land donated by General William Jackson Palmer. By 1917, the hospital had 85 beds and charged tubercular patients between $10 and $30 per week for room and board. Beth-El was purchased by the City of Colorado Springs in the 1940’s. The City renamed the facility Memorial Hospital, in remembrance of World War II veterans. There doesn’t seem to be any original construction remaining in the huge modern-day complex.



Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. Colorado Springs: City of Sunshine. Colorado Springs: The Prompt Printery, 1917.

Historic photographs are from the Pikes Peak Library District’s online photography archive.

St. Francis Health Center/Penrose Hospital and Memorial Hospital websites.


8 thoughts on “A History of Hospitals

  1. It’s a shame that those old historic buildings got bulldozed for newer, uglier ones! I hate when that happens!

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  4. Pingback: Tuberculosis huts – the neatest little backyards treasures | ~ House Crazy ~

    • Oh, that’s great! Do you mean there are parts of the original building that the new building was an addition around? If so, I’ll have to look around inside some time to see the original parts.

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