Sunday, September 28, 2014

Historic Downtown Pueblo

Today we took a day off from riding.  We drove in to historic Pueblo, intending to do some urban hiking, but unfortunately a pair of walking shoes was missing from the truck.  We did check out the historic part of town, but didn't do the river walk.
This is the Pueblo Union Depot.   It is a spectacular building and is in good repair.  I have borrowed the photo and the text from the referenced website. 
Pueblo Union Depot was constructed in 1889 in the architectural style of Richardsonian Romanesque by the architect Frank V. Newell.  In 1892, the Depot handled 51 trains, 18,615 passengers and 164,718 pieces of baggage per day. During this year, there were 103,114 tickets sold, worth $568,639.  The Depot was built by Puebloans Henry Thatcher and Mahlon Thatcher and the following five railroads: The Denver & Rio Grande; Denver, Texas and Fort Worth (later the Colorado and Southern); Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific; Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe; and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Passenger service ended in April of 1971.

Behind the depot, there is a small railroad museum.  This is the Santa Fe 2912.   She's a "Northern" 4-8-4 engine, meaning it has four lead trucks, eight drive wheels and four trailing wheels (under the firebox).  Originally built in 1944, she was retired in 1955.  This engine was always an oil burner - not a conversion from coal. Look at the size of it!

Jim reports that all of the engine instrumentation has been removed.

The depot has been converted to some retail and is used for special events.  It is just gorgeous inside.  The floor is made of those tiny octagonal tiles.

Look at the wood on that door.

Inside is just lovely.  The wood on the stalls is solid.

Above we see a beautiful painted tile picture of some romantic far off land.  The chandelier looks to be alabaster.

In the men's room they have a naked lady painting.  It was good to go on a Sunday, when the building was not in use.  Otherwise we could not have checked out the restrooms.

Do you see any cars on the street?  Nope. Downtown Pueblo is eerily deserted on a Sunday afternoon.  It's the county seat, and the area is largely populated by lawyers; so there's no reason for any retail to be open.  We had lunch in a cafe where the umbrellas are.  The setting was good, but the food was mediocre. 

The side of another building.  Most of the historic area dates from the late 1800s.

I love the gilt.

This is the county courthouse.  It's pretty dang impressive.

After leaving downtown and our short slow walk we had to hurry home.  Colorado can brew up a storm very quickly, and the mountain bikes were out, cabled to the picnic table.  We got them under the grill cover just as the rain started.  There was some very impressive lightning and thunder, and then it all went away, just like that.


  1. Great tour! Beautiful city. Those were some restrooms, especially the painting over the urinals:)

  2. Neat town. We might be passing through that area next spring, thanksfor the preview!

  3. Hi Allison! I'm way behind on blogs as we've been so busy traveling, and I've been trying to get caught up on just posting our blog. I don't know how you do it -- I am running over 10 days behind real time now! But I loved this post. Your photos of the downtown area are gorgeous. I loved the wood in the restrooms...things like that are one of the treats of travel as you never know where you might run across them! Interesting that you've ended up (at least as of the date of this blog) in some hotter-than-normal areas right as we were getting cooler than normal in the Pacific NW.