We live in a beautiful historic neighborhood that has played a prominent role in the 150 years of Colorado Springs’ history.
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 century, the North End had become a showplace for the successful to flaunt their new-found wealth and for local architects to display their virtuosity. Click to open a PDF tour of Nevada, Cascade and Wood Avenues plus connecting streets.
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 settee in the latest “rustic” style under a favorite shade tree.
Of 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. Read more and access the tour maps.
This 4- to 5-mile walk leads you through Monument Valley Park and the historic Old North End neighborhood with its Victorian homes, mansions, and cottage houses (dating back to the 1870s). Many of Colorado Springs’ specimen and unique trees are tucked away in this neighborhood with its protected sites and good soils. Take this walk in each season to take in the different coloring and shapes trees provide in our landscapes. Open the tree walk map for more information.
The Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs (HPA) offers tours of historic sites throughout the Colorado Springs area during the months of July and August. There is an entry fee per person, per tour. The summer tours are free for those who have paid current year membership dues to the organization.
Visit the Historic Preservation Alliance website for complete, detailed information on their summer tour program.
In 2003, the City of Colorado Springs was awarded a grant from the Colorado Historical Society to update and expand a 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.
The following tours within Colorado Springs provide an overview of the countless gems throughout the City that showcase the scenic beauty, the ‘City of Millionaires’ as well as the various historic districts, neighborhoods and hidden treasures.*
Walking tours (in PDF) containing color photos of these Downtown areas:
*Text sourced to City of Colorado Springs website.