A Tour of the Old North End
Even before Cripple Creek gold turned Wood Avenue into “Millionaire’s Row” in the 1890’s, Colorado Springs bankers, merchants, and railroad magnates began slowly migrating north, attracted by the more plentiful water supply in the land beyond Colorado College.
Healers and health seekers clustered around Glockner Sanatorium, now Penrose Hospital, while the College became a center for the city’s cultural and intellectual leaders. By the turn of the center, the North End had become a showplace for the successful to flaunt their new-found wealth and for local architects to display their virtuosity.
- 1532 N Nevada Avenue. Georgia Square, classical detailing. Projecting roof and porch eaves with dentils and modillions. Roof lines slightly curved. Carved fantail over third story dormer.
- 1528 N. Nevada Avenue. Georgian Square, classical detailing. Projecting eaves with dentils and modillions. Dentils around pediment of third story gable. Symmetrical pillared porch extends full length of house.
- 1415 N. Nevada Avenue. Colonial Revival. Architect T. D. Hetherington. Gambrel roof. First floor stone, second shingle. Bay window. Built in 1898 for Colonel Edgar T. Ensign, first president of the First National Bank of Colorado City, organizer of the Chamber of Commerce, and head of the original state Department of Forestry.
- 1404 N. Nevada Avenue. Georgian Square. Architect Thomas MacLaren. Fanlight and sidelights with tracery under elliptical arch at entrance. Dentils and modillions under projecting eaves. Dormers on either side of third floor pediment. End wall porch. Built in 1900 for Louis A. Giddings, A proprietor of Giddings Brother, an early dry good store.
- 10 E. Columbia Street. Georgian Square. Architect Thomas MacLaren. Projecting roof and gable eaves with dentils and modillions. Round arch over entrance. Built around 1902 for William P. Greenwood, an associate of James J. Hagerman, projector of the Colorado Midland Railroad.
- 2 E. Columbia Street. Elizabethan. Architects Douglas and Hetherington. Brick, stone, and stucco with half timbering. Projecting eaves with exposed rafters. Multi-gabled roof. Two-tier portico with balustrade. Built around 19090 for J. Arthur Connell, a mining investor and broker, first president of the Colorado Title and Trust Company.
- 1435 N. Cascade Avenue. Projecting eaves with exposed rafters. Beveled glass in front door. Eyelid dormer. Symmetrical pillared porch, arched over entrance, extends full length of house. Built before 1900 for Henry LeB. Wills, one of the three trustees of the Garden of the Gods for the Charles W. Perkins estate.
- 1515 N. Cascade Avenue. Mediterranean. Architects Gove and Walsh of Denver. Gold-colored brick with stone trim. Red tile hip roof. Projecting arcaded porch with balustrade extending south around house. Circular portico with fan shaped roof on north side. Built between 1902 and 1904 for William K. Jewett, a vice-president of the Colorado Springs National Bank and partner in Suburban Water and Real Estate company. Later owned by the Giddings family.
- 1600 N. Cascade Avenue. Tudor and Italianate details. Grey brick on stone foundation. Green tile, low pitched slightly curving hip roof. Tuscan arcaded porch extends across front. Flemish gable over roof. Carriage porch north end. Front entrance hooded by stone Tudor arch, sidelight panels of beveled glass. Elizabethan timbering under eaves. Built around 1913 for A. G. Sharp, president of the Exchange National Bank.
- 1510 N. Cascade Avenue. Georgian. Symmetrical portico supported by columns. Three dormers with decorative ridge flashing and finials. Wide front entrance with fanlight and four sidelights with tracery. Built around 1891 for W. H. Sanford, a partner in the Shields-Morley Wholesale Grocery Company. Later sold to Elizabeth Cheney who donated Ticknor Hall to Colorado College.
- 1308 N. Cascade Avenue. Late Georgian. Orange brick with white wood trim. Two-tiered classical portico with balustrade and pediment, supported by giant Tuscan orders. Prominent modillions under projecting eaves and pediment. Carriage porch north end. Probably built around 1900.
- 1230 N. Cascade Avenue. Georgian or Colonial Revival. Architect E. C. G. Robinson. Wide front porch supported by attenuated ionic pillars and balustrade. Fanlight and sidelights with tracery at entrance. Projecting roof and porch eaves with dentils. Frieze decorated with garlands. Three dormers each face.
- 1222 N. Cascade. Elizabethan. Architect E. C. G. Robinson. Stucco and half-timbering. Multi-light windows. Completed in 1893 for William P. Bonbright, broker and banker. Most commonly known as the home of Dr. Gerald B. Webb, internationally recognized specialist in the treatment of tuberculosis.
- 1216 N. Cascade Avenue. Spanish. Architect Thomas MacLaren. Stucco with red tile hip roof. Iron balconet, third floor. Front entrance recessed behind arcade.
- 1228 Wood Avenue. Mediterranean. Architects Varian and Sterner of Denver. Rosy brick, trimmed in stone, with red tile hip roof. Arcaded loggia arch supported by Corinthian columns. Another arcaded porch south side. Built between 1896 and 18976 for Ralph J. Preston, an attorney. Purchased later by Philip B. Stewart, a banker and broker.
- 1306 Wood Avenue. Shingle Style. Gable Roof, shingle siding. Three window dormer across front. Eyelid dormer. Palladian windows North & South faces. Built around 1891, later given to Percy Hagerman by his father, James J. Hagerman, founder of the Midland Railroad.
- 1329 Wood Avenue. Shingle Style. Architects Douglas & Hetherington. Gambrel roof with intersecting gables. Stone porch. Multi-light windows. Built around 1897 for Eugene P. Shove, a banker and broker who later donated Shove Chapel to Colorado College.
- 1409 Wood Avenue. Queen Anne Shingle. Shingle siding, steep gable roof. Tower with conical roof alongside hexagonal dormer. Front porch framed by broad arch. Next to front door, elliptical window with “keystone” at bottom. North side, small second-story porch recessed under gable. Built around 1901.
- 1508 Wood Avenue. Colonial revival. Architect Thomas MacLaren. Fanlight and sidelights with tracery at entrance. Gambrel roof. Wrap-around porch with stick railing extends around south side. Railing repeated on porch roof, forming balcony. Built in 1901 for John D. Long, Secretary of the Navy under presidents McKinley and Roosevelt.
Old North End Neighborhood Historic Ironwork Tour
Ornamental ironwork was one of the great loves of Americans in the late nineteenth century. Victorian homeowners bought up iron castings – fountains, urns, crestings, benches, statues, railings, bridle posts and boot scrapers – as quickly as foundries could turn them out. During that decorative era a house was not a fashionable home – unless it had an ornate finial atop the highest tower, a heavily scrolled iron gate on the front walk, and a cast iron setee in the latest “rustic” style under a favorite shade tree.
Af all the tons of iron that remain from those by-gone days, none pleases the eyes more than the delicate cast iron fences that border the front lawns of old residential areas in Colorado and neighboring states. Actually, the affinity for iron fencing was nationwide during that period, promoted by a burgeoning iron and steel industry. Foundries and iron works, concentrated in the East but scattered throughout the Western states as well, sold their ornamental fences through catalogs and then shipped them by rail to retail agents or directly to buyers.
Colorado Springs, home of the Hassell Iron Works, has an especially handsome collection of decorative iron fences dating from the late 1800s. The fences represent a happy union of taste and technology, combining intricate design with durable materials at a price which made them attractive alternatives to wood, wire and hedging. Ornamental iron fences required a high initial investment, but since they were almost maintenance-free (and usually outlasted their owners), they offered a long-term economy. Foundry-cast ornamental ironwork cashed in on the prestige and status traditionally accorded hand-crafted wrought iron, but at a fraction of the cost.
The designs were irresistible: Roman arches over fluted spearheads, surrounded by Gothic tracery and Classic scrolls, all fitted together in a graceful and repetitious expanse. Foundries standardized sizes to cut production costs; typical iron pickets and line posts stood about three feet high, gate posts a bit higher. Occasional shortened versions were set into sandstone pedestals.
Not all patterns were elaborate. We fault the Victorians for their fussy tastes, but they had a more discerning eye than we give them credit for. One of Hassell’s most popular iron fences repeated a simple pattern of overlapping arches with no embellishments whatever. He achieved a similar effect of spare elegance from stylized floral castings set atop plain iron pickets. Hassell used traditional forms as well, and offered his clients a seemingly infinite variety of designs.
To access a .pdf file with a complete walking tour of the Old North End Neighborhood’s historic ironwork click the links below.
Historic Downtown Colorado Springs – Virtual and Walking Tours
In 2003, the City of Colorado Springs was awarded a grant from the Colorado Historical Society to update and expand an 1985 historic and architectural survey of the Downtown. Funds enabled consultants to create inventory forms and take photographs that characterized 165 historic resources. One product of this effort is this walking tour of the central portion of Downtown. Properties included in the survey, along with buildings listed on the National Register and State Register, are displayed to help citizens and visitors appreciate these significant properties.
Walking tours of downtown in PDF format: