Railroad Hospital Gets a Facelift

The Denver & Rio Grande Western Hospital is the last surviving structure in Salida that was constructed by the railroad. The structure at 448 E. First Street now makes up the eastern end of the Touber Building and houses City Hall.

As part of the recent remodel from hospital to City and County offices the City received grant funding from the Colorado Historical Society’s State Historic Fund. These funds will be used for exterior rehabilitation of the original building first constructed in 1900.

Working with Architects Belinda Zink and Ron Mazzeo bid documents have been developed and are now available for interested contractors. The scope of work includes a variety of items such as masonry repair, painting, rehabilitation of the wooden balustrade, repair of the original porch ceiling and installation of two historic replica doors on the southern façade.

Bid documents are available electronically by emailing planning@cityofsalida.com or the plans can be ordered from Belinda Zink by calling 719-850-6750. There will be a mandatory pre-bid conference and walk-through for all general contractor bidders at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28th.

When the Salida Hospital District announced they would move to a new medical campus and put the old hospital up for sale, there was concern that it would be demolished and replaced by new development. In 2007, the City of Salida designated the 1900 portion of the hospital and portions of the surrounding grounds as a local landmark. This provides for design review of exterior alterations to the building regardless of ownership.

The Historic Preservation Commission will review the rehabilitation plans at their regular meeting on Thursday, July 29th beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Touber Building.

The total cost of this project, including architectural services, is anticipated at $ 263,192. Of that amount over 72% of the cost or $ 190,745 is being provided by the State Historical Fund. The remaining $ 72,447 is being shared by the City and Chaffee County as co-owners of the building. As with the Touber Building remodel project which received almost $ 2 million in grant funds, we continue to leverage local dollars with grant funds to complete community projects.

The City and County are pleased to have been able to acquire and breathe new life into the old hospital. With the completion of the interior remodel we can now turn our attention to repairing the neglected exterior of the building. It is our hope that the current rehabilitation and restoration work will ensure this building remains an important and functional local landmark for many years to come.