Alamosa County Courthouse
702 4th St.
National Register 9/29/1995, 5AL.263
The U-shaped complex is one of the county’s best examples of the Mission style. The largest of several Works Progress Administration projects built in the county during the 1930s, the courthouse construction began in 1936. Using local clay and sand, the WPA workers produced more than 450,000 bricks at a kiln located north of Alamosa. The courthouse continues to house a variety of county offices. (2004 photograph.) See related properties.
In a recent restoration project, workers replaced the leaky red-tile roof, re-pointed the brick masonry, restored the windows, made the arcade accessible to the disabled, and added wood-framed, custom-made storm windows to blend into the elegant facade. The 1937 cornerstone was taken out and its well-preserved contents catalogued and reinstalled along with new items, including a list of county projects made possible by SHF grants totaling over $277,000 matched by county funds of more than $100,000.
Alamosa Masonic Hall
514 San Juan
State Register 5/14/1997, 5AL.243
The building’s elaborate stamped metal upper story represents a period of construction associated with the arrival of the railroad and the resulting ability to import prefabricated architectural elements. Built in 1887, it was one of the first major buildings to be constructed on what would become Alamosa’s main street. Street-level retail stores supported the second-story hall both physically and financially.
The Alamosa Masonic Temple Association, with its own funds, city support, and SHF grants, installed emergency exit doors, replaced the roof, and repaired and repainted the windows. The second story cornice-and-cast-iron facade, with its elaborate Italianate trim, was badly damaged, weather, and faded. Restoration required replacement finials, cornices, and parapet caps, all of modern zinc-coated steel and sheet aluminum. The lodge members accomplished the restoration thanks to grants of nearly $142,000 from SHF and $50,000 raised by the Alamosa Masonic Temple Association.
Alamosa Post Office
703 4th St.
National Register 7/22/2009, 5AL.258
The Public Works Administration (PWA) constructed the 1935 Alamosa Post Office as a program of the New Deal legislative agenda set forth by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression. The post office is significant as an excellent example of the Mixed Style - exhibiting elements of Art Deco, Classical Revival, and the locally prevalent Mission Revival.
American National Bank Building
500 State Ave.
National Register 4/15/1999, 5AL.248
Constructed in 1909 during a period of rapid growth in the San Luis Valley, the bank building reflects the optimism associated with an important phase of downtown Alamosa’s commercial development. The virtually intact brick building is a good example of an Arcaded Block, a popular commercial building type during the early decades of the 20th century. The building functioned as a bank until 1951, and for many years it housed a flower shop. (2001 photograph.)
Ben and Alyce Fujii restored the building and returned it to use as a bank. Belinda Zink, the restoration architect, believed the building would have ended up in a landfill if not for SHF grants of nearly $110,000 and $333,000 in matching funds from the Alamosa Uptown & River Association. These funds covered masonry work, replacing the roof and parapets, and repairing and repainting the doors and recessed arched windows. A 1930s flood stained the light brick and sandstone, which were cleaned and repaired during restoration.
Bain’s Department Store
510 Main St. & 509 Hunt Ave.
State Register 9/13/1995, Boundary Increase: State Register 9/9/1998, 5AL.529
This Depression-era building opened as the largest department store in the San Luis Valley, offering groceries and clothes as well as household and farm goods. Owner Victor Bain made extensive use of recycled materials to minimize construction costs.
The La Puente Housing Authority, a nonprofit organization that aids the hungry, homeless, and disadvantaged of the San Luis Valley, rehabilitated the building, converting the second-story living quarters into six rental units, and using the street level as a thrift shop. Every weight-bearing interior was shored up in order to keep the load off the exterior masonry walls. The roof, skylights, plumbing, and wiring were completely reconstructed, brick re-pointed, and the original storefront reconstructed. Funding for the $428,000 project included almost $310,000 from SHF, loans from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, $40,000 from the Johnson Fund, $65,000 from the Colorado Division of Housing, $11,400 from La Puente, and $127,000 from the community.
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot (Alamosa County Offices)
610 State St.
National Register 2/11/1993, 5AL.251
The depot operated as an important transfer point for passengers, mail, and freight traveling between Denver, Creede, Santa Fe and Durango. Agricultural development in the valley made it essential for coordinating crop shipments. Built in 1908, to replace an 1878 depot destroyed by fire, the west section was added in 1930. Its Spanish tile roof reflects the San Luis Valley’s Hispanic heritage. Passenger and freight use decreased in the 1950s, leading to the station’s closure. Subsequent interior remodeling occurred to accommodate city offices, but the exterior remains nearly as built. The property is associated with the Railroads in Colorado, 1858-1948 Multiple Property Submission. More information (PDF, 2.84 MB).
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Locomotive No. 169
State Register 8/9/2000, National Register 3/12/2001, 5AL.312.1
Built in 1883, this narrow gauge, coal fired, ten-wheeler steam locomotive remained in service for over 50 years. In 1939, it was taken out of storage to represent the D&RGW Railroad at the World’s Fair in New York City. The ten-wheel design was considered the best arrangement for passenger locomotives, as the four-wheel lead truck worked best on uneven track. The six larger driver wheels provided increased pulling capacity and speed, making it one of the fastest narrow gauge engines built. In 1941, No. 169 came to rest at Cole Park, a gift to the city from the railroad.
First Baptist Church
408 State Ave.
National Register 5/22/2005, 5AL.259
Construction began on the First Baptist Church in 1907. An asymmetrical composition consisting of a variety of forms, textures and materials, the church epitomizes the Queen Anne style. Its steeply pitched complex roof with a dominant front-facing gable, the corner tower, and patterned shingles are also characteristic of the style. The integration of some classical elements (notably the pedimented entry) was common in the later stage of Queen Anne. Queen Anne is an unusual expression for ornamental concrete block in Colorado. Although pattern books and builders’ catalogs included some Queen Anne examples, most concrete block construction in our state relied on more simplified styles. This is the only ornamental concrete block public building in Alamosa. The building also has the distinction of being the oldest standing church in Alamosa. This property is associated with the Ornamental Concrete Block in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
625 Main St.
National Register 1/28/2000, 5AL.246
Constructed in 1936 with a terra cotta facade and stylized ornamentation, the two-story brick building possesses the distinctive characteristics of Art Deco, a style not well represented in Alamosa County or in other small towns across Colorado. This well-preserved building is considered one of the best small town expressions of Art Deco in the state. (1936 photograph.)
Mt. Pleasant School
Junction of County Rd. 3S and Rd. 103S, Alamosa vicinity
National Register 5/3/2006, 5AL.89
Located about eight miles west of Alamosa, it is the third school at this location. Built in 1911, the Mt. Pleasant School building served as the area’s only school until 1965 and the last one-room school in the Alamosa vicinity. As the only public building on the rural landscape, it was not only a center of education, but also a focus of community life, hosting a variety of activities. In its size, scale, window placement, and interior configuration, the building epitomizes the rural schoolhouse. Its clustered windows and hipped roof reflect turn-of-the-century “innovations” in rural school design. The predominant architectural feature on this building is its corner belfry/entrance with an unusual concave roof slope. This property is associated with Rural School Buildings in Colorado Multiple Property Submission. More information (PDF, 820 kb).
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
727 4th St.
State Register 3/13/1996, National Register 7/15/1998, 5AL.262
Constructed between 1922 and 1928, the church is an interesting interpretation of the Mission style designed by prominent architect Robert Willison. The interior includes outstanding murals painted by local artist Josef Steinhage that were recognized nationally in Catholic circles.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church
607 4th St.
National Register 3/4/2003, 5AL.260
The building, which consists of a 1926 parish hall and a 1930 sanctuary addition, is an example of the Mission Revival style as evidently its smooth stucco walls, curvilinear parapets, and round-arched window openings. It is one of the few religious properties designed by the prolific Denver architectural firm of William E. and Arthur A. Fisher.
Howard Store (Hooper Town Hall)
8681 Main St.
National Register 2/1/2006, 5AL.788
This well-preserved 1891 storefront is a textbook example of a small 19th century commercial building with its recessed central transomed entrance flanked by large display windows above paneled wood kickplates. The building possesses the distinctive characteristics of the False Front Commercial type. Its facade rises to form a parapet wall with a decorated cornice extending above the gabled roof and side walls. Three sides of the building are sheathed in sheet metal siding stamped to resemble rock-faced stone masonry. Manufacturers and retailers promoted this economical means of ornamentation as a durable and fire-resistant material. The building is the town’s best preserved example of embossed sheet metal siding and is one of the town’s oldest and longest operating general merchandise establishments.
Medano Ranch Headquarters
Approximately 9 miles northeast of Mosca
National Register 2/4/2004, 5AL.301
The Medano Ranch Headquarters is an important part of the development of cattle ranching in the San Luis Valley from the open range days of the 1870s through the mechanized operations of the period following World War II. The Medano is one of the oldest continuously operated properties in the area and its buildings and structures reflect the evolution of ranching as a large-scale enterprise during the late 19th and 20th centuries. The history of the ranch incorporates the sweeping historical themes associated with ranching in Colorado, including the driving of Texas cattle to the area in the 1870s, the entrance of eastern investors into the region’s cattle ranching, the use of sham homestead claims and intimidation of earlier settlers to acquire immense tracts of land during the 19th century, the difficulty of surviving during periods of economic distress, the continued consolidation of lands during the 20th century, and the application of modern ranching techniques and participation in stockmen’s associations during the 20th century.
Architecturally, the ranch headquarters is representative of the heart of a major San Luis Valley cattle ranch that began as a range cattle operation, grew greatly in physical extent as smaller holdings were consolidated, and evolved into a fed-cattle Hereford business in the early 20th century. The buildings are classic examples of the variety of materials and construction techniques found on ranches of great longevity. An important aspect of the buildings is their representation of the common ranch practice of recycling and reusing existing structures and joining smaller buildings together to create larger ones. One of the buildings, the draft horse barn, reflects New Mexican influences in its design.
Superintendent’s Residence, Great Sand Dunes National Monument
Colo. Hwy. 150, southwest of Mosca
National Register 11/2/1989, 5AL.414
Constructed in the Territorial Adobe style, the building features a gabled roof, an Anglo modification of the traditional Hispanic flat roof. It was the largest project undertaken by the WPA during its late 1930s work at Great Sand Dunes. It represents the Rustic Movement, championed by the National Park Service’s first director, Stephen T. Mather, who advocated the use of native materials and vernacular building traditions wherever possible. There is an adjacent fee station.
National Register 2/4/2004, 5AL.706
The Trujillo Homestead is an important part of Hispanic settlement in the San Luis Valley in the latter half of the 19th century. Pedro Trujillo, a first generation Hispanic-American, established the property in 1879. The homestead is representative of small-scale pioneer cattle enterprises which typified the first ranches established in the area. The homestead is also associated with the pattern of violence and intimidation experienced by early Hispanic ranchers as large Anglo-American cattle operations expanded and consolidated their holdings. The two-story log ranch house represents a rare resource type in the San Luis Valley and in the state as a whole. The fact that a Hispanic-American settler on an isolated ranch erected the two-story log house instead of building a traditional adobe dwelling typical of the first era of construction in the vicinity adds to the building’s significance. The archaeological component of the site provides a unique opportunity to study cultural change and adaptation by examining possible historic use of Native American technology by a Hispanic ethnic group.
Zapata Ranch was one of the first and largest cattle ranches in the area. It also served as a stage coach stop and post office. Some of its buildings date back to the 1870s, and all of the historic ranch buildings are of log construction.