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Guest column: From Court Street to Colbrunn Court

By Dave Hughes

       Westside resident Dave Hughes worked extensively with Wes Colbrunn on the Old Colorado City revitalization efforts of the 1970s and '80s and has also done extensive research on Westside history. This guest column is a sidebar to the separate article about the June 25 ceremony commemorating Colbrunn's death.

      
Dave Hughes
Westside Pioneer file photo
That little block from Colorado Avenue to Pikes Peak and right to the front door of what's now the Old Colorado City Library was laid out and named, way back in 1873, as "Court Street."
       That was because, when the powers in Colorado Springs tried (and failed by vote) in 1872 to take the El Paso County seat from Colorado City, the alarmed Colorado City Land Company folks scrambled to donate the entire block (that is Bancroft Park now) to the county.
       And the Land Company even put out bids to build a county courthouse on that land (which they so rapidly built they forgot to build an outhouse too).
       AND they named the adjacent short block "Court Street."
       Nevertheless, Colorado Springs people won the election in 1873, outnumbering Colorado City folk to relocate the county government to downtown Colorado Springs. Colorado City lost the county seat.
       The Land Company then gave the block to the Colorado City School District, and classes started to be held in the now-abandoned county building. But it was so poorly constructed that when the typical Westside wind blew, frightening the teachers, Colorado City's town fathers came inside and sat on the first floor to prove to the teachers (and students) that the building was not going to blow down.
       It was not until 1888 that the flimsy building was razed. The Bancroft School was built in its place. Its buildings were demolished in 1923, and the site became Bancroft Park.
       Until the 1980s, the one-block roadway west of the park kept the name of Court Street - part of the earliest Colorado City history. After Wes Colbrunn's death in 1986, several men in his business association lobbied the city of Colorado Springs to change its name to honor him.

(Posted 6/11/16; Opinion: Guest Columns)

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