The Denver & Rio Grande Western Hospital is one of 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.
The City received grant funding in 2010 from the Colorado Historical Society’s State Historic Fund to be used for exterior rehabilitation of the original building first constructed in 1900. The project is now approaching completion.
The project scope of work included 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. All of the improvements are on the exterior of the building and many are very evident, especially the new doors facing First Street.
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 and makes the site eligible for funding through the State Historical Fund. The State Historical Fund obtains money through taxes on gambling revenues in Colorado.
The total cost of this project, including architectural services, was projected at $ 263,192. We anticipate completion will be under budget by $ 3,922. Of that amount over 73% of the cost or $ 186,823 is being provided by the State Historical Fund. The remaining $ 66,230 is being shared by the City and Chaffee County as co-owners of the building with an additional contribution of $ 6,217 of staff services and grant administration. 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. 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. Please stop by and see the work that has been completed on this historic community structure.