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Colorado State Veterans Center, Homelake

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1891; additions. Northwest corner of Rio Grande County 3E and Sherman Ave., 3 miles east of Monte Vista

Locals donated the 500-acre site for structures that span a full century of construction, many of them four-unit cottages that began to be built in 1907. The main office (c. 1892), originally the superintendent's house, is two stories of rough-faced rhyolite with expansive, balustraded porches on all four sides. Round arches and Neoclassical columns set the tone for several other buildings sharing the grassy grounds and circular drive. These include a chapel, an old dining hall, a pool hall, and an open pavilion (1892) with stout stone pillars supporting a wooden hipped roof.

Rows of cottages and dormitories with white stucco walls and green-painted trim, materials also used for facilities such as a women's lounge and a shop, dominate the center. A single-story hospital and nursing home (1928) of beige wire-cut brick replaced the original hospital east of the office. Its hipped roof with exposed rafter ends shelters battered buttresses at the corners that emphasize a low profile and solid appearance. A cemetery and several outbuildings of the Homelake Farm as well as the Homelake State Wildlife Area surround this antique institution.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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