COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A new chapter is being written for the Union Printers Home. A master plan for the revitalization of the 26-acre campus is currently in development.
Almost exactly 130 years ago the iconic landmark opened its doors. Since then, it’s been home to union workers, patients sick with tuberculosis, and later on nursing home residents.
The century-old building shut its doors in 2020 when an elderly woman froze to death outside as a resident of the former nursing home. It hasn't reopened since.
But now, the new owners hope to turn the "Castle on the Hill," with more than 100,000 square feet, into a destination for the community.
“Expect to see retail, residential, commercial, some office space, and some really exciting restaurants, bars, entertainment, all kinds of things," said Susan Pattee, Ownership Group - UPH Partners. "You'll be able to come here pretty much 24/7 year-round and enjoy the setting, the historic buildings, and the outdoors.”
Preserving the history of this building remains the guiding light for the owners, who are enlisting the help of the Historic Preservation Alliance and the Pioneers Museum.
It’s a big undertaking, with thousands of artifacts left behind for over a century.
"The Union Printers Home is not on any preservation list, and that was one of the reasons that we jumped in to buy it right away because we were concerned that other buyers might be able to tear it down or do something really significantly different,” said Pattee.
Part of preserving the history will also include honoring the many people that have called the castle home for over 13 decades.
"We have come to know all the various stories of people that have lived and died here," said Pattee. "There has also been so much life, and restoration and healing. There was so much in the early part of the 20th century with tuberculosis and people coming from all over the country here for healing, and many of them recovered. So we are going to continue to tell this story about health, wellness, and healing and have that be part of the campus as well."
UPH Partners say a comparable project that combines history and modern upgrades, would be Union Station in Denver.
"I think the one that we look at the most is the Union Train Station in Denver because it's called 'Denver's Living Room,' said Pattee. "It's a very exciting place where it's both open to the public and it's privately owned. You feel like you're welcome there to go sit down and have a coffee or a drink or just hang out in the lobby, and that's the kind of thing we're looking for here."
The Union Printers Home master plan is in its infancy. Owners say it’ll take at least 12 to 18 months before the doors are open to the public.
However, they do hope to have some concerts outside on the grounds as early as this summer.
For more information on Union Printers Home, click here.