July 27, 2021

Celebrate Colorado Springs’ 150th Birthday

From the start of the year through July 31st, Colorado Springs is embarking on a community-wide celebration to commemorate the city’s 150th anniversary! Below we have outlined some moments in time and celebrations to immerse yourself in the past and look forward to an even brighter future.

Moments in Time and the History of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs has a rich history starting from when Gen. William J. Palmer founded Colorado Springs in 1871.

Scottish architect Thomas MacLaren is a well-known name in Colorado Springs as he ambitiously designed over 200 buildings in the region. His projects ranged from the first building of Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the downtown area in 1894 to the Colorado Springs Psychopathic Hospital, now called Cedar Springs Hospital. About 80 of MacLaren’s buildings in Colorado remain standing, mostly in Colorado Springs, with 12 listed on the National Register of Historic Places and three on a similar state register.

In 1909, the city’s Park Commission called North Cheyenne Cañon “the grandest and most popular of all the beautiful cañons near the city”, and eventually encompassed more than 1,300 acres with an education offering, Starsmore Discovery Center. Also in 1909, Charles Perkins, a Palmer friend who owned Garden of the Gods, died. According to his wishes, his children gifted the park to the city which now draws visitors from all over the world!

It didn’t take long for businesses to pop up in Colorado Springs. The Antlers hotel, built by Palmer, opened in 1883; it got its name from Palmer’s extensive collection of deer and elk trophies. It was destroyed by a fire in 1898, rebuilt, and reopened in 1901 where it remained in operation until 1964, when it was torn down and rebuilt again, reopening in 1967 (what a past!). It is now called: The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel. Additionally, The Broadmoor was built at a cost of $2 million and formally opened in 1918.

Patsy Mahaney, an Irishman who immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1800s opened the original Patsy’s store in Manitou Springs in 1903. Now, the downtown store is leased as a franchise and the treats are produced in a factory on South 21st Street which includes a storefront. The Niswonger family reclaimed the business, now called Patsy’s Original, in 2017 after selling it to a Denver businesswoman the year before.

Immerse Yourself in Springs’ Culture

There are plenty of ways to celebrate locally, from historical sites to immersive outdoor events.

50 historic images alongside modern photos are on display at Pikes Peak Library District – Library 21c through August 31st as part of the City of Colorado Springs’ Sesquicentennial Celebration. Local photographer Mike Pach recreated historic images from the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Pikes Peak Library District, and other archives to illustrate how things have changed and how they have stayed the same.

On July 31st, join the city in a “Parade Through Time” down Tejon Street from Cache la Poudre Street to Vermijo Avenue. Enjoy a family-friendly street festival featuring crucial moments in Colorado Springs’ history.

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is hosting the Tokyo Games Fan Fest on its plaza. The free, four-day celebration will take place outside the Museum from July 29 – Aug. 1, where fans can watch the game and even meet some Olympic and Paralympic champions. Plus, The Colorado Springs Sports Corporation is hosting an area where you’ll find live music, autograph sessions and Q&A with Olympic champions, sport exhibitions, and more.

Contact us to learn more about Colorado Springs’ 150th anniversary and how you can celebrate all the factors that have shaped the city into the staple it is today. Colorado Springs is looking towards a bright future as our city continues to top the charts. The U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live annual ranking listed Colorado Springs in sixth place, right behind Austin, TX.