Downtown Colorado Springs has a rich and storied history, as can still be seen in many of our historic buildings. To learn more about the history of downtown and the Pikes Peak region, visit the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
1871 – Gen. William Jackson Palmer drives the first stake in Colorado Springs at the intersection of Pikes Peak and Cascade avenues.
1871 – The city’s first parks are deeded to the public. The original names for were North and South Parks, now Acacia Park and Alamo Square, the park area around the Pioneers Museum.
1874 – Colorado College is founded by the Colorado Council of Congregational Churches on land donated by the Colorado Springs Company.
1882 – Antlers Park is deed to the public.
1883 – The Antlers Hotel opens.
1893 – Katherine Lee Bates, while staying at the Antlers Hotel pens “America the Beautiful” as a poem - later a song - inspired by her trip up Pikes Peak.
1898 – A great fire destroys the downtown business area and the first Antlers Hotel.
1901 – The second Antlers Hotel opens.
1903 – El Paso County Courthouse (now the Pioneers Museum) opens in Alamo Square.
1905 – The Colorado Springs Public Library, a Carnegie library, opens.
1907 – Monument Valley Park, donated by Gen. Palmer, is opened.
1914 – Hibbard’s Department Store opens on Tejon Street (now Chipotle on the street level).
1923 – Electric traffic lights are installed in downtown intersections.
1923 – Colorado Springs City Auditorium opens, funded by the issuance of bonds approved by city voters.
1936 – The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center opens, an event heralded in the New York Times.
1940 – The Colorado Springs High School opens in a new building (now Palmer High School).
1960 – Interstate 25 opens along Downtown’s western boundary.
1965 – The second Antlers Hotel is demolished.
1967 – The Chase Stone Center, a complex including the third Antlers Hotel and the Holly Sugar Building, is completed.
1979 – The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum opens in the renovated El Paso County Courthouse.
1982 – Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts opens.
1984 – Plaza of the Rockies (North Tower) is constructed (and renovated in 1995).
1986 – Downtown campus of Pikes Peak Community College opens.
2001 – South Tower of Plaza of the Rockies is constructed.
2001 – Uncle Wilber Fountain opens in Acacia Park.
2004 – America the Beautiful Park opens.
2007 – Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center completes a $28 million, 48,000-square-foot expansion and renovation.
2008 – Tejon Street becomes two-way.
2010 – The U.S. Olympic Committee moves to the corner of Tejon Street and Colorado Avenue.
2012 – The Mining Exchange: A Wyndham Grand Hotel opens in the historic former stock exchange for 20th century mining companies.
Historical photos courtesy of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.