The Union Printers’ Home began as a convalescent home, a place of rest and healing and support for members of the International Typographical Union (ITU). Union members could come here to recover from illness or injury, or simply to live if retirement from working meant they needed housing support. Originally dedicated in 1892 to house only 30 residents, the property and institution eventually grew into a large, self-sustaining entity that could house nearly 500 residents and was a monument to health and wellness, labor and fraternal care, and printing and graphic design.

The "Castle on the Hill," the large building that can be seen from Union Boulevard, was the first building on the property. It was originally less than half its current size, but numerous additions and renovations over time brought it to its current size of roughly 100,000 square feet. The other three buildings now on the property were added in the 1930s: a heating and laundry building to the East of the Castle, the North Dormitory, and the South Sanatorium/Hospital, which create a “quad” bounded by these four buildings. Several other structures previously stood on the property, which grew to more than 300 acres, but has been removed over time.

With the decline of the printing trade and less funding from Union dues, sections of the land had to be sold off, and several buildings were shut down and used for storage in the 1970s and ‘80s. The Home was eventually opened to residents who were not members of the ITU, and in 2014 was sold to a large private nursing home organization. It closed permanently as a nursing facility in 2020, and in 2021, it was purchased by a small group of passionate Colorado Springs people to preserve the buildings and creatively adapt the property into something new.


Throughout the cleaning of the buildings, which were in various states of disrepair, the rich story of this beautiful and unique property began to unfold before us. Thousands of historical and archival items, including photographs, boxes of correspondence, films, books, publications and newsletters, and much much more, surfaced. We are only now beginning to see just how much detail and depth there really is to this amazing story.

The significance of this project not only to our community but on a national and international level is impossible to ignore, and the work has only just begun. We are taking steps to archivally catalog and preserve the incredible pieces of history that were found on every inch of the property. Eventually, these items will help us to share the rich story of this place and its people with the community.

“ The story of the Union Printers Home is a personal story, about individuals and the lives they led and passed. It’s a story and a legacy of help and love for our fellow man, and looking after their well-being. It’s a story about a bygone era of the power of organizing, and what it created. It’s a story about an industry as important as the written word itself, that has evolved indefinitely and still continues to evolve today."
Susan Pattee Founding Family Member 2021


In May 2022, UPH Partners announced that they had selected the international architecture firm Sasaki to complete the master plan for the adaptive reuse of the entire property as a “community within the community”. While the Union Printers Home buildings and grounds will be adapted into something new and exciting, its rich history will be preserved and incorporated throughout the new entities that will make up the future of this amazing place.


The historic preservation project is separate from the land and adaptive reuse of the property and buildings. We have been set up as a non-profit entity with a separate mission.

The Union Printers Home History & Archives Project (UPHHAP) seeks to engage and serve our visitors and community by preserving the Home's unique and rich history and educating the public about its local, national, and international significance. In support of this mission, UPHHAP:

  • Collects, preserves, and makes available our collection of books, journals, and publications; correspondence and business records; photographs; artifacts and ephemera; and resident and employee information for genealogical research
  • Informs, educates, and engages the public through exhibits, installations, and programs


Want to support our work on this exciting and invaluable project? You can find Ways to Give here on the website of our fiscal sponsor, the New Horizons Foundation. Be sure to select the Union Printers Home History Project as you progress through their site!