The History of

Union Printers Home

In 1889, the International Typographical Union (ITU) received 80 acres of land east of Colorado Springs to establish a facility for the care of its aged and infirm union members. The Union Printers Home was created as a site for rest and respite and for treatment of various ailments, including tuberculosis and “Printer’s Lung,” a form of black lung caused by the conditions of their work environments. Since its dedication in 1892, the campus grew and changed significantly, and the Home treated or housed roughly 40,000 people. The site declined along with the printing trade and the union in its later years, and in the 1980s, the ITU merged with the Communications Workers of America. It was sold to a private nursing home group in 2014 and closed permanently in 2020. 

UPH Partners, who purchased the property in 2021, are only the fourth ownership group in the more than 130-year history of the Home to be stewards of this place and its legacy.

History

Articles & News

The Shifting Sand[stone] of Time

Union Printers Home historic image

A place of rest, healing, and recovery

The Shifting Sand[stone] of Time

Union Printers Home historic image

A place of rest, healing, and recovery

A Brief History of

Union Printers Home

Colorado Springs 1974 Map
Union Printers Home expansion
Union Printers Home 1917 Postcard
Union Printers Home tent village
1889
80 acres are deeded to the International Typographical Union. Sanatorium ‘tents’ are a common sight as over 20,000 Tuberculosis patients seek the fresh, dry air in Colorado Springs
1889
Old Photo of Childs-Drevel Home for Union Printers
May 12, 1892
Union Printers Home dedicated and first residents move in.
May 12, 1892
Union Printers Home front gate arch Pikes Peak
1900
Front Arch and Gatehouse completed. Tree-lined promenade leads to the Union Printers Home, formal gardens and lawns are home to active and passive recreation typical of the era.
1900
Union Printers Home library after construction
1909
Library Wing built to house the Amos J. Cummings Memorial Library.
1909
Union Printers home cattle farm
1910
All in-house dairy farms, including facilities for dairy cows and chickens, operated for many decades, providing food for residents of Union Printers Home and the local community.
1910
Union Printers Home expansion
1913
There is a major expansion of the Castle building. The second and third stories are added to the Library wing, these include dorm-style rooms for patients. Screened sleeping porches were added to the East side of the Castle building.
1913
Union Printers Home 1916 Expansion
1916-1917
The first section of the extension on the South of the Castle is completed.
1916-1917
Union Printers Home 1923 expansion image
1923-1926
The second section of the extension is completed on the outside, but due to financial challenges, the interior will not be completed until 1926.
1923-1926
Union Printers Home large boilers
1930
New boiler and laundry building completed, taking 1910 coal-fired boilers from an earlier heating plant.
1930
Union Printers Home North Dormitory
1932-33
North Dormitory constructed for residents who did not need direct medical care and could easily make their way around the property for meals and activities. It was built in a New York skyscraper-inspired Art Deco style.
1932-33
Union Printers Home South Tower
1935-36
South Sanatorium and Hospital constructed for treating Tuberculosis and other infectious patients. It was designed to nearly mirror the North Dormitory from the outside, although the interior is altered to reflect its use as a hospital.
1935-36
Union Printers Home on site hospital
1950
Antibiotic treatment for Tuberculosis developed. Madras experiment concludes that with medication Tuberculosis patients recover equally as well at home versus in sanitariums.
1950
Union Printers Home ITU Headquarters
mid-1960s
The International Typographical Union Headquarters was moved from its previous home in Indianapolis to a brand new building on the Union Printers Home grounds. A training center was also built nearby in order to try to keep up with the rapidly changing technology in the printing field.
mid-1960s
Union Printers Home Park Development
1970
By 1970, advances in printing technology and health care, and medical advances, led to a decline in union membership and the decision to sell off a significant chunk of the land to the Schuck Corporation.
1970
Union Printers Home North Dorm
1975-1990
South Tower closes in 1975 because it was no longer up to code as a hospital, and North Tower closes around 1990 due to changing requirements for nursing home residential facilities.
1975-1990
Union Printers Home Publishing and Media Workers Sector
1986
Merger with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) - the former International Typographical Union formed the Printing, Publishing and Media Workers Sector of the CWA.
1986
Union Printers Hill Front Road Pikes Peak
2014
Property purchased by a private nursing home group.
2014
Union Printers Home facade
2021
By 2021 the property is abandoned, and to assure its preservation, is purchased by a group of local civic-minded families, who immediately engage in a comprehensive site investigation and master planning process.
2021
Union Printers Home Master Plan team
2022 - current
A Master Plan was completed by Sasaki and other partners, giving Colorado Springs citizens a glimpse into what the future holds for a new chance at life for Union Printers Home.
2022 - current

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