More often than not, the historic architecture of Colorado Springs goes unnoticed. For this reason, Helen M. Anderson was inspired to write the book “Historic Homes of Colorado Springs and Vicinity” to raise awareness about the beautiful buildings in the city.
Mrs. Anderson had a passion for the historic residential architecture of Colorado Springs. Her interest in residential buildings, as well as the people living in them, prompted her to begin this project. Through writing this book, she uncovered history about the various homes featured, as well as key aspects of their aesthetic appeal.
Mrs. Anderson’s son, Gordon Anderson, photographed the houses in the book. He graduated high school in Colorado Springs and finished college at Colorado State University.
In addition to taking the black and white photos, Mr. Anderson spent 10 years of his life working to finish the book his mother had started.
Mrs. Anderson began working on her book when she was 77 years old. She finished 22 years later—one month before she died—in 2006. While she wasn’t alive to see the publication of her work, her voice is clearly captured in her writing.
There are 36 homes in the Pikes Peak Region featured in Mrs. Anderson’s book. She chose her favorite homes in the city, describing their complexity and historical significance in structure.
Seven of the houses that are photographed and written about exist on the Colorado College campus. Mrs. Anderson’s book brings these buildings to life, covering their history as well as architectural details.
The book covers two historic periods in Colorado Springs. In 1871, about 20 years after the founding of Colorado Springs, the “Little London period” represents the homes of wealthy Tuberculosis patients. The styles of these homes resemble cottages on the east coast.
The second period that is covered takes place after the initiation of the Cripple Creek gold mining boom in 1891. Houses from this period were built to show off the wealth of the families living in them.
“Historic Homes of Colorado Springs and Vicinity” was published through the Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs (HPA) and Filter Press. HPA is an organization that works to preserve the buildings, structures, sites, and other landmarks throughout the city.
Part of HPA’s mission is to educate citizens and introduce them to information about the history of their surroundings.
This book is now available for purchase. There will be a book signing on Feb. 22 at the Trianon, Colorado Springs School, 21 Broadmoor Ave.
In addition to this book signing, the HPA provides workshops that discuss a variety of topics, such as tuckpointing, foundations, and respiration of windows. The organization also offers restoration projects that provide assistance to the owners of historic properties.