If you guessed from part one of the Manitou Springs’ Reincarnation Station article that the Cascade Station at 620 South Cascade Avenue is somehow related to a train station … well, you’re on the right track!
So, let’s get on the fast-track, chug along and solve the mystery of this historic, yet not-so familiar landmark!
The Cascade Station building is not necessarily located on the wrong side of the tracks —in fact, this stately two-face structure rests in a quiet part of the south Cascade Avenue neighborhood with the nearest train tracks located about three blocks away.
First, let’s turn back about 140 years or so … back to the pioneer days of our city, when in 1870, our founding father, William J. Palmer established the north-south Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. This arduous feat extended from Denver to Colorado Springs. In 1887 the Colorado Springs Railroad Depot was built.
With the growth of popularity and wealth in the region, the Manitou Springs’ depot was built soon after. Made of Manitou pink and white sandstone, this ‘D. & R. G. Railroad Station, a rusticated stone building with a high gabled roof, a chimney at each end, and a bay window at the east end’ was constructed on Manitou Avenue.
As we go full steam ahead with this narrative, you will understand why the Cascade Station is referred to as the Manitou Springs’ Reincarnation Station. It is rather interesting and innovative!
Research “generated by the South Downtown Historic Resources Historical and Architectural Survey of Downtown Colorado Springs, 2003-04, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, the State Register of Historic Properties, Pikes Peak Library District and city records” state “The railroad spur to Manitou was supplanted by a streetcar line, sometime after 1900, and the station served a variety of purposes until its replacement in 1969. The stone was saved however, and in 1984, this building was constructed by the Hudson Company using the historic material. The station was not reconstructed; the current building only resembles the original.”
It was this motivating salvage of historic materials that gave this 1984 Cascade Station structure its imposing appearance. So, in these ‘go green’ days of the 21st century with news, politics, fashion, and technology, wouldn’t it be prudent to ‘go green’ in history —those landmarks that may not stand the test of time, may just serve history in other ways!
D. & R. G. Depot, Manitou Springs
Denver Rio Grande Depot, Manitou
Cascade Station Entrance
Respect, enjoy and preserve!