Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado School Buildings, 1910

A new addition to the State Publications Library’s digital collection is School Buildings, published by the Colorado Department of Public Instruction in 1910. This publication was issued by the state’s education department in order to provide superintendents and school districts with guidance on better planning and construction for school buildings. In an era when many […]

Creating Healthy Places

The places where we live, work and play can have a direct effect on our health. With that in mind, researchers from the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Architecture and Planning set out to study the ways that architects, city planners, community organizations, and health officials can work together to plan and design places […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Building the State Capitol

Today, the Capitol Building with its famous gold dome is one of the most recognized symbols of our state. But the road to building a capitol was a long and winding one, fraught with complications that included lawsuits, the firing of the architect, and even uncertainty over whether Denver would remain the state capital. The […]

Home Modifications for People with Disabilities and the Elderly

A recent addition to our library collection is the Colorado Division of Housing’s Home Modification Look Book. This publication provides helpful guidance on making accessibility modifications to the homes of people with disabilities and/or the elderly. Wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, and bathroom modifications such as grab bars and walk-in/roll-in tubs and showers are among the […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado’s Historic Grain Elevators and Silos

A century ago much of Colorado was dotted with grain elevators, silos, and other agricultural structures. They were found on both the Eastern Plains and the Western Slope. Today many of these have been lost, but efforts are being made to preserve and reuse some of these structures. Grain elevators and silos were built for […]

Colfax: Metro Denver’s Most Famous (or Infamous!) Street

The Colorado State Library is located on Colfax Avenue, as is the State Capitol. It’s one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, with a colorful reputation and an intriguing history. The earliest settlers in the Denver area knew it as Grand Avenue or the Golden Road, but residents advocating for Colorado statehood dubbed it Colfax in […]

The Architecture of the CU Boulder Campus

New to our library’s collection is Body & Soul: A Partnership of Architecture and Academics at the University of Colorado Boulder. Written by Campus Architect Emeritus Bill Deno, this book updates an original edition Deno and the University published in 1994 (which can also be found in our library collection). Deno calls the new edition […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Chautauqua

In the late nineteenth century, the Chautauqua movement swept the country, including Colorado — establishing a summer tradition that combined learning, the arts, and the outdoors. A “Chautauqua” is a summer retreat where people can come together to spend time in nature, take classes, attend concerts, and engage in other educational and cultural activities. In […]

State Capitol Tours

Summer is a great time to tour the State Capitol building. Whether you’re looking for a fun educational activity with your kids, or you’re just curious yourself, a tour of the Capitol is a great way to learn about Colorado’s history and government and enjoy the statehouse’s beautiful architecture. Each year, nearly 70,000 people tour […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Territorial Capitals and Capitols

Most Coloradans know that Colorado became a state in 1876, but how many can tell you the date when Colorado Territory was established? The answer is February 28, 1861 — 158 years ago this week. Many people are also surprised to learn that Denver hasn’t always been Colorado’s capital city. Just days before the end […]

Colorado’s Most Endangered Places

Every February, Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI) releases their annual list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places. The program brings awareness to historic buildings, landscapes, or archaeological sites around Colorado that are in danger of demolition, neglect, modification, or development. This year’s endangered places, highlighting the history of southern Colorado, are: Adobe Potato Cellars of the San […]

Colorado Downtown Streets

Safety, walkability, transportation, and aesthetic design are all important components of planning a downtown commercial area, whether in a large city or a small town. Downtowns and “Main Streets” can, if well planned, boost tourism and enhance quality of life for residents. Therefore the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Department of Public Health […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The WPA in Colorado

During the height of the Great Depression, as banks failed, unemployment soared, and farm prices dropped, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established as one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal projects. The WPA focused on creating and providing jobs rather than handing out direct relief. Most of the WPA jobs were aimed at […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado State Museum

Have you lived in Colorado long enough to remember when the State Museum was located at 14th and Sherman, in what is now the Legislative Services Building? The State Historical Society was established in 1879 and its earliest museum exhibits were located in the State Capitol. By the early 1900s, however, the Society wanted its […]

Herndon Davis, Colorado Artist

You’re probably familiar with the Face on the Barroom Floor, the mysterious portrait of a dark-haired lady on the floor of the Teller House in Central City. But did you know that the same artist who painted this iconic image also used his paintings to document the Colorado he knew, before it vanished forever? Herndon […]

Building History Research

If you’re the proud owner of a historic property, or if there’s a particular building that speaks to you, you may be interested in finding more about its history. Who lived in your house and what were their stories? Or, what were the previous uses of your commercial or public building? If you’re wondering how […]

Is Your House on Shaky Ground?

Ground subsidence problems are very real in Colorado. Whether from naturally occurring elements in the soil or from the effects of Colorado’s mining history, the ground in certain parts of Colorado is susceptible to settling, collapsing, expanding, heaving, or swelling, all of which can have potentially hazardous effects on structures. So how do you know […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Postcards from Southwestern Colorado

Bird’s-eye view of Durango, circa 1907-1914. In today’s world of social media and instant communication, the postcard has become a lost art. But the basic idea is the same – the desire to share pictures and updates with friends and family while you’re apart. A century ago, postcards were a popular and cheap way to […]

Denver Landmarks & Historic Districts

Over the last few months you may have read the news articles about the proposed development of Larimer Square, Denver’s first designated historic district. This week, it was back in the news when the National Trust for Historic Preservation added Larimer Square to its annual list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” For the […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Yule Marble

Lincoln Memorial. Did you know that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. are constructed of marble quarried here in Colorado? The stone comes from the Colorado Yule Marble quarry in the Crystal River valley near Marble, between Aspen and Carbondale. Colorado Yule marble, named for nearby Yule Creek, […]