Capital Campaign

Manitou Springs Heritage Center Capital Campaign

We did it! With your support, the Manitou Springs Heritage Center was able to purchase the building. What an exciting accomplishment!

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Even with this goal achieved, we still need your support:

As we update our historic building, we still need your support to raise matching funds for our extensive restoration. We have been successful in securing grant funds from the State Historic Fund (History Colorado) and the Manitou Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund (MACH) to replace the roof and windows, and to repair and re-stucco the exterior of this historic building. Our next major projects are improving the front entrance, interior structural supports and improvements. We are so happy to be working with the State Historic Fund but there are significant matches we must come up with to take advantage of these grants.

Be a Part of Making This Happen

Donate now and help us “collect, preserve, research, and interpret the history and culture of Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.”

Donate Now

The Heritage Center Capital Campaign has been approved as a project within the Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone, thus offering the potential for an ADDITIONAL 25% Colorado State Tax Credit over and above standard state and federal deductions. Learn more.

517 Manitou Avenue—A History of the Property 

There is documentation of stables on this block of Manitou Avenue as early as 1873 with the construction of the Swisher and Holmes Livery—the first in the City. The El Paso County Assessor’s records indicate there may have been a building at this location as far back as 1888. Starting in 1890, the Sanborn Fire Maps labeled the block as having “detached frame buildings” and at least one “Livery.” However, no building footprints were drawn on the map until the last one produced in 1907. That map shows a smaller, single story building designated as a livery on this site.

The addresses for properties along Manitou Avenue changed as the City grew and developed to the east. In 1915, The Manitou Garage owned by J. Robert and Lulu Tate was listed in the City Directory at 115 Manitou Avenue. There were a number of owners and business name changes in the ensuing years under this address. An advertisement from a 1929 guide by the Highway Publishing Company for Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico shows a single story building at this site, extending to the intersection to the west. A circa 1940 photograph shows the building was still largely as it appeared in the 1920s. The use was listed in the City Directory as an auto garage, with Standard Oil Gas Station #82 at the corner.

According to the El Paso County Assessor and the 1950 State Business Directory, the A&A Garage was listed at 115 Manitou Avenue in February 1950, by which time the second story had been added (as illustrated by the Assessor’s photo). The current address first appeared in 1951–52, when the A&A Garage was listed at 517 Manitou Avenue. It is believed the adjoining construction to the west may have been removed by 1949–50, when the ownership of this and the parcel at the corner (where the existing laundromat is located) were separated and an address for that property also first appeared.

Other uses of this building included light manufacturing by Adcom Transformers, Inc. (who rewound power distribution and specialty transformers) which operated here for approximately 30 years from the early 1970s. A pottery studio was the last tenant before the Heritage Center opened the museum on August 26, 2009.

Except for changes to the entry and garage doors, the Heritage Center building has remained largely unchanged since 1950. Further research and documentation on our building’s history is ongoing so its full story can be told.

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