A Neighborhood Improvement Journal - Summer 2021


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Touring Telluride

by Candace Brown



 The community's main street, Colorado Avenue, is a major gathering spot.


Telluride, Colorado, is a thriving community with a population reported in 2012 to be 2,291 permanent residents, but seems larger because it is always full of tourists. This town is determined to fill up every square inch of the box canyon it occupies in a remote area of southwestern Colorado, at an elevation of 8,750 feet.

Telluride became a National Historic Landmark District in 1964 and maintains its original look in the main business area. From its beginnings as a mining camp, the community established itself as a real town in 1878, first called Columbia. The name changed to Telluride in 1887. By 1890, the railroad arrived, boosting the population to a high of 5,000. Now, special seasonal attractionssuch as its several community festivals in the summer and skiing in the winterboost the number of bodies to double or triple that.

Here, the words “neighborhood” and “town” pretty much mean the same thing. That is what happens in an area so densely packed that nothing seems more than a short walk away. As in most small towns, people know each other, making it one big neighborhood. However, with real estate so scarce and expensive, an adequate supply of affordable housing is a huge problem. 

A walk through Telluride is a walk back in time through a scene from the Old West. During the summer of 2014, when these photos were taken, flags from many nations greeting international tourists. You might enjoy being a tourist there yourself. Just watch for bicycles, wildlife or rolling rocks and you’ll be fine.


 Small shops offer many temptations.



 The Bank of Telluride keeps deposits safe, but a famous outlaw, Butch Cassidy, robbed an earlier bank here in 1889.


 Pedestrian, cars, and photographers should expect the frequent appearance of bikes.



 Bikes are a perfect mode of transportation in the summer and it's easy to find rentals.


 This cluster of small, colorful houses is just a few steps away from the business district.


 Side streets like this are short on length but long on charm.


 Houses are typically close together on small lots. Benches are often found outside of stores and offer a place for rest and conversation.


 Mountains seem like familiar neighbors.


 Neighborhood life in Telluride means living in close quarters with both other humans and spectacular views.



 Homes come in a variety of styles, colors and ages.



 Rocks rolling down from the surrounding hills do represent a hazard.


 How many neighborhoods include a waterfall?


 Roof materials and construction are designed to shed snow.


A man's short trip from the business district takes him by a park on the way to his door.

Flags from around the world are displayed to welcome visitors.

The business district tapers off into a residential neighborhood opposite the park.


 Even lightposts are in keeping with historic ambiance.

Hills tower above historic rooflines.



More information about Telluride




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