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

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Wildfire Relief Effort

It’s definitely been a rough week for Colorado Springs. The Waldo Canyon wildfire has destroyed close to 350 houses, and more than 30,000 were evacuated from their homes.

But here’s a way to help. Local designers have started an effort to design and sell wildfire t-shirts, with 100% of the proceeds supporting Colorado wildfire victims. Funds will benefit the Colorado branch of American Red Cross, local food bank Care and Share, Colorado Fire Relief Fund, and Immediate Local Wildfire Relief.

At this point, there are already 18 design choices, and each shirt sells for just $20. You can read an article about the program in the Colorado Springs Business Journal. Or go straight to the website to buy a shirt.

Hey Daisy

Because it’s summer time, and summer is all about bike rides, music and fun.

(And, because this was filmed in Colorado Springs’ Old North End neighborhood. Oh, and because I can’t believe how long this guy can balance without touching the handlebars.)

A Family of Mustachioed Men

This is the third in a series of Memorial Day posts recognizing some of the historic figures memorialized through sculpture in downtown Colorado Springs. See the first post here, and the second post here.

This guy had a great mustache. And from the look of things, he came by his facial hair naturally, bred in a family of mustachioed men.

Spencer “Spec” Penrose (1865-1939) didn’t arrive on the scene in Colorado Springs until 1891, but he made a splash when he showed up.  Penrose built the Broadmoor Hotel and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and had his hand in many other local landmarks as well. Continue reading

A Latte for Zebulon

This is the second in a series of Memorial Day posts recognizing some of the historic figures memorialized through sculpture in downtown Colorado Springs. See the first post here.

It’s hard not to be cool when you have a name like Zebulon.

Lucky for Zebulon Pike, he led an adventurous life equal to his name.
Continue reading

An Inspiring Place for Play

I would love to have this playground in my neighborhood.

And yes, it is as it looks: a limited edition bronze sculpture designed as a functional playground!

Created by artist Tom Otterness, the piece above was commissioned as a private installation in Massachusetts. But, Otterness has done public playgrounds as well, including the Big Girl Playground in Yonkers, NY Continue reading

In Memoriam of Memorials

To walk through downtown Colorado Springs is to gain a beginner’s history of the city and the Pikes Peak region.

Life-size bronze sculptures dot the major intersections, and provide a walking tour of who’s who in our history.

Including one of General Palmer on a horse. I talk a lot about Palmer. (Okay, truth be told, I sort of have a crush on him.) But there were certainly others that helped to shape our community in ways just as numerous and meaningful. And many of them stand downtown, tall and bronzed.

So in honor of Memorial Day, my posts this month will include nods to some of our region’s other historic notables, as documented by downtown’s collection of sculptures. Continue reading

Art in the Digital Age

I have a box of old floppy disks, loaded with critical data that I needed to save from the early 90’s. I also have a MacBook, and so no way to access any of that important information.

But, thanks to artist Nick Gentry of London, my disks can be saved from the landfill!

Gentry is creating “social art from the obsolete” with his Xchange program. You send him your disks, he makes art with them. And, if you include your address along with your donated disks, he’ll even send you “a gift for your contribution.”

via Stranger than Vintage

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