Cortez (1887, 6,200 feet) was laid out in 1886 by M. J. Mack, engineer for the Montezuma Valley Water Supply Company, as the county seat and commercial hub. The first house and school were constructed in 1887. One of the few county seats never served by a railroad, Cortez remained a small town although tourism grew after the creation of Mesa Verde National Park in 1906. The town has several archaeological research centers and museums. Much strip development has come to line U.S. 160, the main street of this town of some 7,000 residents. Some of the oldest downtown landmarks are built of a dusty-colored sandstone quarried nearby in Crow Canyon.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.