Coke’s many moves over the years
By Peter Dunn
After reading the Sept. 7 article in the Westside Pioneer regarding the Coca-Cola Bottling Company's planned move to Powers Boulevard, I became curious about
the company's presence in Colorado Springs prior to its move to the Westside in 1956. The Carnegie Library collection of old Colorado Springs City Directories
reveals the following information:
The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. first appears in the directory in 1909 located at 124 Mechanics Place. Although the alley running north-south between Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street extends through the center of many blocks, only the alley block between Bijou and Kiowa streets had addresses assigned in the early 1900s as “Mechanics Place.”
The first manager was James W. Bailey, who lived with his wife Emily at 530 N. Institute, but he died August 3, 1910. The 1911 directory lists George T. Bailey as the manager, residing at the Santa Fe Hotel at 526 E. Huerfano. He was succeeded in 1912 by Charles M. O'Connor, who lived at 18 W. Kiowa.
From 1916 to 1920, the directory has no listing for Coca-Cola in Colorado Springs.
The next appearance was in the 1921 directory as “Coca Cola Bottling Works” at 2902 W. Colorado Ave. There was even a little ad - “Bottlers of Coca Cola, Orange Crush, Lemon Crush, and All Other Prominent Fruit Flavors.” The manager was Albert C. Smith, residing with his wife Lillian at 514 N. Cascade. In 1922, the manager was Z. P. Pilgreen, at 1127 N. Cedar.
However, in 1924, the directory shows 2902 W. Colorado Ave as “vacant.” In 1925, this address became home to Mascot Coal Oil & Clay Prod Co.
There is no listing again for Coca-Cola until 1932, when “Coca-Cola Bottling Co.” was located at 107 Manitou Ave (Manitou). The manager, Chas C. Williams, lived at 214 E. Cache la Poudre. In 1933, James F. Wimbish became manager, residing with his wife Genevieve and showing the address of Realtor J.A. Broadbent at 221 Manitou Ave as their residence.
In 1934, Coca-Cola Bottling Co moved to 25 N. Cascade Ave. (Today, this location is in the parking lot directly north of Phantom Canyon Brewing Company.) The Pikes Peak Library District's Special Collections area has an aerial photo looking east over the second Antler's Hotel in which the traditional white stucco facade of the Coca-Cola building can be seen across the street from what is today the Penrose Library.
The company remained at 25 N. Cascade until the 1957 directory. Wimbish remained the manager until 1946, living with Genevieve in a variety of apartments in the 200, 300, and 600 blocks of North Cascade, as well as Boulder Crescent, before moving to 20 W. San Miguel St. in 1943.
In 1948, John R. Browne became the manager, residing with his wife Betty H. at 1632 N. Tejon. Starting in 1955, the City Directory shows a second manager - Jas D. Adams, residing with his wife Mary K. at 1335 N. Tejon.
The Brownes moved to 29 Broadmoor Ave. (Broadmoor) in 1956, the same year the plant relocated to 415 W. Pikes Peak Ave. It has stayed there until the current move.