Colorado Springs: Santa Fe Eating House
La Junta: “El Otero” Hotel
Palmer Lake: Santa Fe Eating House
Trinidad: “Cardenas” Hotel
Colorado photo archives: University of Arizona Fred Harvey Collection
Trackside view just south of Pikes Peak Avenue looking SW
Tracks are gone and the open waiting area has been enclosed
This handsome Santa Fe station and Harvey House building is now part of the University of the Rockies. It is located east of downtown on the south side of Pikes Peak Avenue where Colorado Avenue merges with it. [Incidently, the cross-town rival D&RG had its station at the west end of Pikes Peak Avenue. That also is worth a visit.] The separate brick Freight Depot also still exists to the left of these views.
The opposite side of the station looking SE
View near junction of Colorado and Pikes Peak Avenues, 2008
These southeasterly views are taken where modern day Colorado Avenue curves around the station to merge with Pikes Peak Avenue. [Colorado Avenue is a parallel street one block south of Pikes Peak Avenue.]
The Lunch Room is intact, with tile wainscotting and gothic ceiling containing stained glass panels. The large windows in the wall shared by the Waiting Room to the south are filled in. There is some sort of booth in the corner, like a little news stand. The room to the north has remnants of gothic wood paneling – the Dining Room perhaps?
Looking north on Colorado Avenue showing the east end of the station
Note period buildings on the right before the 2nd Street intersection
The Santa Fe depot, which included the El Otero Hotel, was on the north side of 1st Street at the northern termination of Colorado Avenue. It originally was about half as long, the east end being the oldest with a turret on the west end which was later removed in the expansion.
Sign reads: Fred Harvey - Hotel - Coffee Shop - Rooms - $1.50 Up
Looking NW from 1st Street at Colorado Avenue, 2008
The unimpressive BNSF/Amtrak station is now located on part of the space, with a parking lot where the western end of the building stood. For reference, the Wells Fargo & Company Express building still exists, and is barely seen on the left in both views.
Trackside view of the older end of the hotel looking WSW
The old Wells Fargo & Company Express building is in the distance
The Wells Fargo & Company Express building was located on the west side of the Santa Fe Hotel. It is the pink building with the light gray roof in the modern view. The Reading Room was just west of that. That area is now a parking lot.
Newer end of the Santa Fe Hotel in foreground, note the news stand
Same view of current station looking back towards town, 2008
These views are oriented ESE. The hotel extended further west into where the parking lot is now. The Wells Fargo building is just out of view to the right.
Santa Fe depot visible on far shore and D&RG depot on near shore
Similar modern overview of Palmer Lake from above town looking SE
Palmer Lake is almost halfway to Denver from Colorado Springs. Apparently there was an Eating House at the Santa Fe depot here. Information is very sketchy. The Santa Fe depot was on the east [far] side of the lake, the D&RG on the west [near]. The Santa Fe depot is the long building with the turret at the foot of the hill, left center across the lake. The D&RG depot, which also had an Eating House, is shown where the tall tree is on the near shore. Both railroads used the lake water for their steam engines.
Facing SW with the Santa Fe depot on near left and D&RG on far right
Parking lot and info kiosk for New Santa Fe Regional Trail, 2008
These views from the Santa Fe side of the lake show the parking lot for the New Santa Fe Regonal Trail. There is a little restroom with a kiosk which has historical information about the railroad history, old photos of the depots, and one caption which mentions an Eating House. The depot originally stood just beyond this small park building to the south. From the Palmer Lake trailhead, the path follows the old AT&SF grade south to the Air Force Academy. Trains still run along the other side of the lake.
Trinidad and Fisher’s Peak from atop Simpson’s Rest
View facing SSE with Interstate 25 in the foreground, 2008
The Santa Fe depot and Cardenas Hotel are in the foreground of the postcard. The tracks run along the north side of the Purgatorie River, and the historic buildings once stood north of the tracks. The long, orange building just right of bottom-center is the Cardenas Hotel, the depot is the hard to see white-domed building to the left of it. These are flanked by the arched bridge in the lower left corner, which is Commercial Street crossing the Purgatorie, and the metal truss bridge on the right, which is Cedar Street. Both bridges are also visible in the modern view.
Simpson’s Rest, Cardenas Hotel, and depot beyond Purgatorie River
Northern view from the Cedar Street bridge over the Purgatorie, 2008
I-25 now runs along the north side of the tracks. A boxy Santa Fe depot was still there between the tracks and the elevated Interstate in 2004, but in 2008 they were building an off ramp in that area, so even the ugly modern depot is gone.
Simpson’s Rest, Cardenas Hotel, and depot beyond Purgatorie River
NNW view across the Purgatorie River from a walking trail, 2008
A historical plaque along this trail says of the disasterous flood of September 30, 1904, in part: “Across from here, the 100-foot-long stone and brick Santa Fe Railroad depot was undermined and crumbled into the foaming waters. The elaborate Cardenas Hotel, one of the famed Harvey Houses, sat a few yards farther back and was saved – only to be damaged by a later flood and then torn down.” This is referring to an earlier depot than the one shown in these postcards, which replaced the destroyed one.
Earlier view, copyright 1905, before depot shown in previous postcard
Similar western view from Commercial Street bridge, 2008
The domed mission style depot was not yet built in this view published in 1905. It would have blocked part of the hotel from this angle. Plus, there was an arched portico that came from the right side of the L-shaped hotel straight forward to the depot. The older, pre-1904 flood depot was likely out of view to the right.
Trackside view of the Santa Fe depot and distant Cardenas Hotel
SW platform view approximately where the depot was, 2008
Despite all the major upheaval along here, the brick passenger platform is still in place! Note the yellow safety line for Amtrak passengers. The old Santa Fe depot was likely in the area between the white trailer and new off ramp retaining wall. The torn down Amtrak station was definitely just past the trailer, and that is also where the Cardenas Hotel had to have been, not quite to Cedar Street, as is shown in the first view from Simpson’s Rest. In the latter section there is some raised brick edging like what was in front of the Cardenas, instead of a plain concrete curb.