Rezoned and repurposed: the Teller County Hospital

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

It has been a while since I did a Rezoned and Repurposed post, so I thought I would feature the original Teller County Hospital in Cripple Creek, Colorado as part of my “Cripple Creek Week” series.

image from: http://coloradogambler.com/cripple-creek%E2%80%99s-hospitality-house-has-long-history-of-care-comfort/

image from: http://coloradogambler.com/cripple-creek

The two-story former hospital is located in the northwest corner of Cripple Creek and was built in 1901. Designed by architect C.E. Troutman, it was intended to serve the entire Teller county region including the nearby mines.

It has since been converted to an inn and it is currently for sale!

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

For $550,000 you can own the former operating room, recovery room, tuberculosis porches, mental ward, and patient rooms! Actually, since the building has been converted to an inn, the interior is a lot more comfortable nowadays. But it does still have a great deal of turn-of-the-century character and some surviving relics from its hospital days, such as this antique cane wheelchair below:

image from: www.chetopianfamily4.com/

image from: www.chetopianfamily4.com/

The structure is a solid old building in excellent condition… the exterior walls are six rows of brick thick from the basement all the way up to the roof-line!

Here’s an excerpt from the listing write-up:

OF THE 18 HOTEL ROOMS, 14 HAVE PRIVATE BATHS. GREAT CARE WAS TAKEN TO PRESERVE AS MUCH OF THE AMBIENCE OF THE HOSPITAL AS POSSIBLE DURING THE REMODEL PROCESS. THIS HOTEL PROVIDES A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY STAY IN AN EARLY 20TH CENTURY HOSPITAL OPERATING ROOM.

[emphasis mine – I cannot stress enough how much of a selling point that is :) ]
image from: www.cchospitalityhouse.com

image from: www.cchospitalityhouse.com

Because it was a hospital, the hallways and main staircase were built extra wide to allow for gurneys and stretchers to be carried up.

Have a look at some of the former patient rooms – now refurbished as guest rooms:

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

As the population of the Cripple Creek region dwindled by the 1950’s, the need for a hospital diminished. The Teller County Hospital closed it doors for good in 1961. It sat vacant for 2 years and suffered deterioration at the hands of vandals. In 1963, new owners purchased the property and went about restoring it for use as a hotel.

New carpet was installed, the original woodwork was carefully brought back to life, and more than 700 roles of wallpaper were hung. Several pieces of hospital equipment like the operating table, a crib, a gurney and several wheelchairs were restored and put on display. The [new owners] appropriately renamed the property Hospitality House.

– from: http://coloradogambler.com/

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

The same family owns and operates the hotel today – they even added an RV park and campground on the large sprawling grounds.

No word on why they are selling now, but here is the listing, including a virtual tour if you are interested: Hospitality House for sale.

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

The room pictured below is reportedly the former operating room:

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com/operate

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com/operate

Small, but good light. That’s all they needed to lance boils and rip out miner’s infected toenails. Makes for peaceful night’s slumber, I’m sure.

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

Fun fact about the former Teller County Hospital: the very first patient of record to be admitted was Cripple Creek’s 13-year-old resident pyromaniac – Roy Bourquin. He had blown off both his arms with dynamite and was abandoned by his parents at the hospital because of his incorrigible arsonist tendencies. He spent most of his life there before being transferred to a state mental institution.

Roy Bourquin as an adult:

image scanned from: The Cripple Creek District book (Arcadia Publishing)

image scanned from: The Cripple Creek District book (Arcadia Publishing)

For further reading about the notorious patients and the history of the Teller County Hospital, see this wonderfully well-researched article.

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

image from: http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com

When I stumbled upon this building last summer, I had no idea what it was (or what it had been). But there was something extremely creepy about it as we approached slowly down the long drive.

It makes perfect sense to me now that it was a Victorian era hospital and tuberculosis ward.

I bet there is still a ghost or two that lingers in those hallways and patient rooms. Hopefully, they come with the sale of the property.

~~~

Sources:

official website:

http://www.cchospitalityhouse.com/index.html

real estate listing:

http://graingerrealty.com/commercial.htm#HopHouse

historic background:

http://coloradogambler.com/cripple-creek%E2%80%99s-hospitality-house-has-long-history-of-care-comfort/

For further reading see:

The Cripple Creep District

 

 

 

3 Comments

  • Sue says:

    I’ve been so sick this year and especially this past week that buying an old hospital turned hotel is probably a good idea for me. Interesting how large the patience’s rooms were back then compared to nowadays.

  • Cynthia says:

    They have done a great job preserving that old hospital. It should be a museum! But I guess its even better than its a hotel so that guests can have the whole overnight experience!

  • Si-Lynn says:

    Now that would be a great house conversion if you had a really big family! Great find Sarah!

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