Announcing the 2021 Winter Lecture Series Celebrating our City’s Sesquicentennial! 

6:30 p.m. via Zoom – ADVANCE RESERVATIONS are required at

Lecture and virtual viewing details at

Theme: Colorado Springs: Planning of a Great City


In recognition of the Sesquicentennial (150th) birthday of the City of Colorado Springs, the Historic Preservation Alliance presents three highly educational and entertaining lectures for our annual Winter Lecture Series.

Our founder, General Palmer, was captivated with the Pikes Peak region.  In establishing his City, he borrowed from his family experiences in Philadelphia, earning a Medal of Honor in the Civil War, his business dealings in the railroad and investment arena.  He was also influenced by the emphasis on enlightened urban design of his era.

CONCLUDED:  A link to the February 18th recorded session will appear here soon.  We begin with an overview of Palmer’s unique approach toward creating an ideal environment by incorporating our natural beauty into a highly civilized society.  Presenter Tim Scanlon will present Building a Better City.  He will identify Palmer’s vision of a “grand estate” to be shared with personal friends, and the steady progression of private and civic improvements that created a vibrant community poised to capitalize on the discovery of Pikes Peak gold.

March 18:  Presenter John Haney will share with us the History of the El Paso Canal.  General William Jackson Palmer, Colorado Springs founder and first “developer” of Colorado Springs, sought to sell lots and create a lush resort on ground that was nothing less than dry desert. To this end, he constructed the El Paso Canal.  The canal helped fulfill his dream and served our City for some 83 years.  The presentation will show how the canal contributed to the city’s early growth and development and what it is used for in today’s world.  The speaker was captivated by the canal and will share stories about how his life was affected by this historic waterway.

April 15:  Presenter Eric Swab will present Three Trails That Ring Cheyenne Mountain; Three ‘Tails’ of Bribery, Provocation and Infidelity.  Spencer Penrose had an interest in a system of trails that once encircled Cheyenne Mountain. His motivation was to provide recreational opportunities for the guests of the Broadmoor Hotel. By 1918, the year the hotel opened, the trails had been mapped and named for three friends and associates of Penrose, Henry M. Blackmer, Charles M. MacNeill and Russell K. Dougherty. This presentation will explore the social prominence and frailties of these three men.