We CREATE Community

Downtown Historic Survey

Grace Place

The community of Colorado Springs, located at the base of Pikes Peak, was prompted by the Pikes Peak or Bust gold rush of 1859. Although the gold was actually found in Cherry Creek, now located in Denver, Pikes Peak was the nearest landmark, having been identified by Lt. Zebulon Pike’s expedition of 1806. Meager deposits were insufficient to sustain the prospectors, who turned to settling areas around waterways. 

Homesteaders, as well as squatters, found the confluence of Monument and Fountain Creeks attractive. After the Civil War, an ex-Union General named William Jackson Palmer, searching for a westward route for the Kansas Pacific Railroad, explored the area, and dreamed of creating a “grand estate” for his fiancée and comrades.

Following a purchase of 10,500 acres, the townsite was staked due east of the Peak on July 31, 1871 and Colorado Springs was incorporated the following year. Supported by the railroads and enhanced by its reputation as a restorative for tuberculars, Colorado Springs boomed with the development of the Cripple Creek gold district. This was followed by the development of the tourism industry, seeking to capitalize on luxurious accommodations and the natural beauty. Following World War II, the community expanded to encompass the United States Air Force Academy, Norad and Fort Carson.

This website is devoted to describing those resources in the vicinity of Downtown that illustrate the rich history of this region. From mansions to cottages, grand churches to modest places of worship, and incorporating civic, institutional and commercial structures, these properties illustrate the heritage that is now Colorado Springs.