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Colorado Springs North Downtown
Hone your eye for architectural forms and get to know the history of Colorado Springs—through its houses!
This (VIRTUAL) AIBD walking tour on design will give the group an opportunity to see a number of architectural styles and elements.
(As well as, a desire to actually “walk” the tour again on July 31, 2021. When everyone can enjoy the very sunshine, fresh air, and mountain views that led early residents to settle in Colorado Springs in the first place. )
Over the course of just a few blocks, we’ll be exploring a wide variety of architectural styles, allowing us to analyze proportions, patterns, and forms for a deeper understanding of how these elements can apply to your own practice.
Styles we’ll identify include Neoclassical, Shingle, Colonial Revival, Italian Renaissance Revival, Tudor, Spanish Colonial Revival, Gothic, Craftsman, Mid-Century Modern, Bauhaus, and Art Deco among others. We’ll also discuss nationally-known architects who have designs along this route, including Douglas & Hetherington, John Gaw Meem, and Elizabeth Wright Ingraham.
The area we will be touring was known in the late 1800s as “Millionaire’s Row” and was founded for its natural beauty and resort destination potential. When Colorado Springs founder William Jackson Palmer first rode through the Colorado Territory in 1869 as a railroad surveyor, he fell in love with the stunning mountain views of Pikes Peak and the beauty of the Garden of the Gods. He resolved to build a visionary city of culture and elegance that would be “the most attractive place for homes in the West.” Fortunes made at nearby gold mines gave early residents the means to build large homes and the desire to impress their neighbors by importing architects and popular architectural styles.
This consolidated area of well-preserved homes is now known as the Old North End. These blocks, in combination with Colorado College—also founded by William Jackson Palmer—create not only a unique tour experience to understand the city’s architectural style heritage, but also serve as a catalyst to discuss various styles, proportions, and character materials whose principals can be translated to today’s home designs.
The route is mostly on flat, paved terrain and covers approximately 25 city blocks. The tour begins at the corner of Uintah Street and Wood Avenue and follows north to Culebra Avenue before heading up Cascade Avenue, where we will walk through Colorado College and ultimately conclude at the Fine Arts Center.
The tour will be led by AIBD Fellow Larry Gilland and Colorado Springs historian Tim Scanlon. We highly suggest you obtain or bring from your library Virginia & Lee McAlester’s A Field Guide to American Houses, which we will be using as a resource in identifying styles.