housestory: On the Road

Summer is winding down for us now in Colorado Springs, and we spent the past few weeks on vacation. But now we’re back in town. And so at last…a new post!

I’m a sucker for those brown road signs. You know the ones, posted along American freeways and highways, designed to point the way to significant cultural sites and historic markers.

So when we stopped for the night in Rock Springs, Wyoming on a recent road trip between Colorado Springs and the Pacific Northwest, I just had to follow the signs to downtown Rock Springs. Continue reading

Fallen Star

I first saw the large scale installations of Korean-born artist Do Ho Suh at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. And now, with the opening his Fallen Star in San Diego, it seems another West Coast trip may be in order…

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves, but you can read more about Do Ho Suh and Fallen Star (which rests seven stories up, atop the University of California/San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering) here.

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A Good Room and Three Squares

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

A 2001 article in the Colorado Springs Gazette cited that tuberculosis treatment before antibiotics included “three hearty meals a day, plus 6 raw eggs and 8 to 10 glasses of milk.”

Last week I wrote about the large tuberculosis sanitariums that helped define Colorado Springs in the early 20th century. And they surely gave out a lot of eggs and milk.

But there were smaller, private tuberculosis boarding houses providing good rooms and three squares as well. Continue reading

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: Continue reading

Union Printers: A Dime at a Time

So, back to tuberculosis. This is the second in a series of posts chronicling some of the tuberculosis-influenced architecture in Colorado Springs. See the first post here

As you drive along Union Avenue, on the southern edge of downtown Colorado Springs, the small storefronts and retail spaces suddenly give way to this:

The Union Printers Home, built in 1892 by the International Typographical Union (ITU), to serve its elderly and sick members.

A beautiful building, made of “Castle Rock white lava stone, with red sandstone trimmings”, the home was first referred to as the Childs-Drexel Home for Union Printers. Continue reading

I Have A Crush.

All right, dear readers, it must be said.

I have a crush, on General William Jackson Palmer.

He wooed me with his passion for creating a healthy, cultured society. Then seduced me with his sense of familial loyalty to the workers he employed. There’s nothing more to be done, he has my heart.

A decorated Civil War hero who made his fortune in the railroad business, Palmer (1836-1909) left his mark on towns throughout the state of Colorado. But Colorado Springs was special to the General. It was the place he chose to live, the town where he wished to bring his wife “Queen” Mary Lincoln Mellen Palmer, and where he hoped to raise his three girls, Elsie, Dorothy and Marjory.

Last weekend, I had a chance to visit Glen Eyrie (c. 1904), Palmer’s historic residence in Colorado Springs. Continue reading

housestory 3: Oh, the Irony

I first saw this Colorado Springs home online, on housecrazy.

It looks so regal, this house of stone. I thought there must be a good story about the early owners.   Continue reading

A Trip to the Corner Store

The 1910 Colorado Springs City Directory lists 132 retail grocers. This was back before the advent of the household refrigerator. Prior to the shopping carts and turnstiles of the first self-service grocery store. In the days when chicken cost 18 cents a pound and you could get a stalk of celery for a nickel.

This was when there was an independent grocery store on every block in Colorado Springs. Well, at least 132 blocks. Continue reading

Horse Alleys: If You Don’t Mind, Please Park Your Horse Out Back

Without kids for the day, my husband and I decided to do a little cultural tourism in our own backyard. We headed over to Old Colorado City (1859), a national historic district in Colorado Springs, for some lunch and wandering.

Because I love, love, love (did I say love?) architectural walking tours, and because my husband is a good sport, we decided to follow a self-guided tour published by the Old Colorado City Historical Society before we ate lunch. Centered along Colorado Avenue, the tour focused on commercial buildings which were mainly grocery stores, fraternal lodges and saloons in their heyday.

But the real story here is in the space between those buildings… Continue reading