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Ouray in Ouray County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Preserving the Past

 
 
Preserving the Past Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 9, 2021
1. Preserving the Past Marker
Inscription.  Ouray was just eleven years old when the Beaumont Hotel celebrated its grand opening on July 25, 1887. The building immediately gained fame as western Colorado's most elegant hotel, marking Ouray as a place of wealth, importance, and permanence. For fifty years it lodged well-heeled mine owners, railroad men, and corporate executives who had business in the San Juans. But as the region's mines declined, the Beaumont's vacancy rate increased; by the mid-twentieth century it had lost its luxurious sheen, and in 1964 it closed altogether. Covered in a coat of hideous pink paint, it stood empty for thirty eight years, an eyesore on Ouray's quaint Main Street. But two investors rescued the Beaumont in the late 1990s and spent several million dollars restoring the building to its former glory. Today the Beaumont serves as a textbook example of historic preservation-and Ouray stands among Colorado's best-preserved Victorian towns.

Captions
Upper Left: Though the facade of the Beaumont Hotel has undergone several changes since its completion in the 1880s, careful historical preservation has faithfully restored the building
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to the late nineteenth-century glory.
Colorado Historical Society
Middle Right (L): In the early 1980s, the residents of Ouray, numbering fewer than 700, began a fund-raising drive to restore the City Hall's facade. Residents raised $120,000 to rebuild the city hall and library, and construction was completed in 1987 and 1988.
Colorado Historical Society
Middle Right (R): Though slightly different in its details, the newly restored building faithfully reproduces the turn-of-the-century charm of the original Walsh Library and Ouray City Hall complementing the community's diligent efforts to maintain the historic nature of the town's architectural heritage.
Colorado Historical Society
Lower Right: The Ouray City Hall, built in 1900, gained a second floor in 1901 when local mining king Thomas F. Walsh paid for the Walsh Library. In January 1950, the historic building suffered a disastrous fire that destroyed the building and the irreplaceable holdings of the library, leaving only the soot-stained walls standing.
Colorado Historical Society
 
Erected 2003 by Colorado Historical Society and Colorado Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is July 25, 1887.
 
Location.
The Preserving the Past Marker is the marker on the right of the two markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 9, 2021
2. The Preserving the Past Marker is the marker on the right of the two markers
38° 1.001′ N, 107° 40.248′ W. Marker is in Ouray, Colorado, in Ouray County. Marker is on Million Dollar Highway (U.S. 550) 0.1 miles south of County Highway 16, on the left when traveling north. The marker is located along US 550 Highway at a Switzerland of America Lookout Point. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ouray CO 81427, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Untold Stories (here, next to this marker); San Juan Travel (here, next to this marker); Ouray Elks Lodge (approx. 0.3 miles away); Beaumont Restoration (approx. 0.4 miles away); It's Our Fault (approx. 0.4 miles away); This Marker in Memory of Rev. Marvin Hudson (approx. 3.4 miles away); Larson Brothers Mine (approx. 5˝ miles away); Ute Homeland (approx. 5˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ouray.
 
Also see . . .  Beaumont Hotel (Ouray, Colorado).
The Ouray Real Estate and Building Association started construction on the Beaumont Hotel on 5 July 1886, completing it on 15 December 1886 at a cost of $75,000. Palmer House supplied employees for the grand opening, on 25 July 1887. All of the original furniture was made by Marshall Field's.

The Beaumont was one of the first hotels in the country to be wired for alternating current electricity. It had guests such as Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover. The hotel closed in 1964 due
The view of the Colorado State Historical Markers from the highway image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 9, 2021
3. The view of the Colorado State Historical Markers from the highway
to declining tourism in the area. For over 30 years the hotel sat empty, boarded up and in disrepair. At one point part of the roof collapsed and more than once the building was considered for condemnation. The hotel was sold in 1998 and was restored, its multiple rooms combined into a more spacious arrangement — the large hotel building now has just 12 guest rooms. It reopened in 2003. Source: Wikipedia
(Submitted on November 27, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
The Beaumont Hotel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 9, 2021
4. The Beaumont Hotel
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 27, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 122 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 27, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Feb. 26, 2024