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

Built for Tuberculosis

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”. 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

Historic Photos on Historypin (a.k.a. There Goes the Rest of My Weekend…)

My house isn’t going to get cleaned this weekend.

I’ve just discovered Historypin–a new(ish) Google partnership at http://www.historypin.com–full of historic photographs of buildings and locales all over the world. The collection is searchable by both location and time. And the really, really fun part? Many of the images are linked to Google’s Street View,  so that you can view an historic photograph overlaid on a modern day street view.

The site relies on user contributions, so some areas have more photographs than others. For Colorado Springs, there are just 10 photographs so far. But London, where Historypin began, has hundreds of images, and even some virtual tours set up.

So, go take a look at Historypin. Search for images of your neighborhood. Maybe upload some old photos of your own. It’s okay…your house doesn’t need to get cleaned this weekend either.