(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A century-old venue in Downtown Colorado Springs is now closed after a failed attempt to save it. This month, the City Auditorium officially became the city’s responsibility once again, and it’s uncertain what the historic structure’s future might hold.
For 100 years, the City Auditorium has sat almost forgotten on the eastern edge of downtown. The City Auditorium is the culmination of community-driven efforts to create a large, multi-purpose meeting and entertainment facility for the city of Colorado Springs. In recent years, the Colorado Springs Community Cultural Collective took the reins of the City Auditorium but has now decided to step away.
“This is a community cultural hub, this is for us, this is in the true mantra of why we built her in 1923,” said Linda Weise, CEO of Colorado Springs Community Cultural Collective.
Since then, it’s hosted concerts and dances, sports of all kinds, and rallies.
“It’s special, it’s a building that has stood the test of time. It’s meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people and it’s something we want to make sure we protect,” said Jariah Walker, Executive Director with the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority.
The original push to renovate the building came in 2004. In 2021, the city entered a memorandum of understanding agreement with the Colorado Springs Community Cultural Collective to transform the auditorium by tripling its space, creating different levels where the gym once was, opening the space for retail boutiques, a speakeasy bar, and a historical diner.
“It’s not a new concept,” Weise explained. “We can look around our entire nation and every city had one of these these buildings and what they did with it was unique to their culture and their community.”
The Community Cultural Collective pulled out of the deal on Nov. 1 because the money needed to renovate the City Auditorium did not meet expectations.
The City of Colorado Springs says they are thankful for the effort over the last two years to support the City Auditorium and provided us with the following statement.
The City of Colorado Springs is thankful to Linde Weiss and the Colorado Springs Community Collective for their efforts over the last two years to support the City Auditorium. There is no question that this building has unique needs and historic features that impact its usage and future. The City does not desire for the City Auditorium to become vacant indefinitely and is committed to assessing the options and next steps for this space.Max D’Onofrio, Lead Communication Specalist of the City of Colorado Springs
The city says until a path forward is determined, the site will not be available for rent or use by the public. The community can continue to be updated on the next steps on the city’s website.
In the meantime, Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade has set up a 17-person solutions team dedicated to finding a new way to pump life into this 100-year-old historic building.