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City Hall

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1900, Francis Carney. 1989, Hall and Associates Restoration. 220 6th Ave., between Main and 4th sts. (NR)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Francis Carney built and may have designed Ouray's one-story brick and stone town hall with a basement jail. The following year he added a second-floor library, gymnasium, and meeting hall donated by Camp Bird mining magnate Thomas F. Walsh. Ignoring the original Romanesque Revival structure, Walsh insisted on a Neoclassical second floor. The superstructure and bell tower are Ouray's answer to Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Following a 1950 fire, the city hall was rebuilt as a hideous stucco lump with an unwieldy metal tower adorned by a siren, antenna, bells, and a grim-looking Christmas star outlined in light bulbs. In 1989 citizens raised $110,000 to restore the city hall to respectability. The Walsh Library, with its golden oak furnishings and fine mining and natural history book collection, has been moved downstairs. The front facade, with a granite base and brick above, has been revived with the help of precast stone trim to match the original granite and sandstone. To minimize maintenance, anodized gold aluminum was used to sheathe the hexagonal dome and Fypon, a molded plastic, for the pilasters, pediment, brackets, and urn finials on the gold-colored dome. The synthetic tower could not support the brass bell that Walsh gave the town; it had to be mounted on a new pedestal in front of the building.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "City Hall", [Ouray, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 572-573.

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