COBWEB CORNERS: The Templeton Building
By Mel McFarland
Years ago, working as an artist for the Board of Realtors, I drew large pictures of well-known buildings in the area. One of them was the Templeton Building.
Built in 1891, the three-story commercial structure formally opened in September of that year. The location chosen by Colorado City businessman Henry Templeton was the northwest corner of Colorado and West streets, now Colorado and 25th. Contractor Albert Allen used 250,000 bricks and 75,000 feet of native pine, half rough cut, half finished floor and trim, and set its front with an iron face weighing 10 tons! Including a sewage system, electricity and water and gas lines, The Templeton Building had all the latest amenities. It was one of the first of the finer and taller buildings along Colorado Avenue. Another was the bank building a block to the east, which now houses Michael Garman's museum on its first floor.
Inside the Templeton, a dry goods store, Woodland and Acheson, first used the ground-floor level, with the door at the corner. Its offerings included bedding, millinery, ladies and gents furnishings and a dress-making department. On the second floor was a boarding house with 18 rooms, all furnished, some with kitchen facilities. The third floor was home to the Masonic Lodge, of which many Colorado Midland men were members. Over the years many other businesses have used the Templeton Building, and reminders of some of these can still be found in and around it.
Today, the building looks much the same on the outside as when it was new. Years ago I got a bit of a tour of the inside, including the basement. Described in 1891 as being eight feet tall, the basement I saw certainly appeared otherwise, due to the pipes, later-day heating and ventilation needs and its use by the first-floor business for storage space. It also appeared to me that the upper floors had been redone, with the top floor broken up into rooms like the second floor. Perhaps someone out there can tell me about the more recent history of the Templeton Building.