25-50 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50 years ago

Sara Garton
Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyA postcard from the 1950s shows the Glory Hole Motel and Independence Pass in the background.

There was a different look to Aspen’s guest accommodations 50 years ago (see photo with Independence Pass in the background). Leonard M. Thomas, vice president of the Glory Hole Motel, Inc., has announced that work is now under way to expand the facilities of the popular motor court. Now under construction is an addition containing eight new units, a coffee shop and a sports shop. There will be a sun porch facing Little Nell ski slope.The coffee shop is being leased by Clarence Rader … . The sports shop is leased to Gale Spence and John Oakes who are operating the Aspen Sports in the Golden Horn Building.

Mr. Thomas stated that the eight new units being added will bring the Motel accommodations up to 104 persons.Tear it down and build it back up – one aspect of Aspen hasn’t changed. This corner in downtown Aspen has gone through several renovations; today it is the location of Caribou Alley.Another new business building was started this week when the Shapiro and Walter Simmonc cleared their lot [at the northwest corner of the intersection of Hopkins and Mill streets] of a small shed making way for a new shopping center of which the first unit will be completed this fall. … Other units to be added later will complete a U with the center section in grass and shrubs.The Alpine Jewelers, owned and operated by Kurt and Lotte Bresnitz, will occupy part of the building under construction.Oldtimers will remember the Franklin and Watson grocery and the Chris Anderson store just across the alley north from the new construction.

The growing pains of a growing community were reported in articles and letters to officials.Mr. Frederick Hendy, President Aspen Water CompanyThe Colorado State Department of Public Health notes that the public water supply to Aspen continues to fail to meet the drinking water standards established by law and regulations of this Department … you are hereby requested to report … on or before October 1, 1955, your plans to bring the water supply into compliance.

Dear Mayor Robinson:This Department is disturbed over the continuing discharge of raw sewage by your town into the waters [see photo] of this State. … It will be necessary for your town to provide complete sewage treatment facilities in order for you to comply with the standards of this Department and with the requirements of the Statutes.

Two smaller post offices in leased buildings on Spring Street and Main Street were consolidated in a brand-new building (see photo) owned by the U.S. Postal Service.[Postmaster Calvin] Letey is proud of the new facility.He called it a “showplace, one of the fanciest post offices in Colorado … and a real asset to the community.”One of only two post offices in the western U.S. equipped with solar heating, the system will supply 55 percent of the building’s heating needs, Letey noted.A popular late-summer event was the Pitkin County Air Show.

The headache. The snap. The loop.On the ground as well as in the air, nearly 2,500 spectators watched [see photo] pilots perform these and other stunts while looping about Sardy Field … .Perhaps the most amazing feat performed by the pilots was Jim McKinstry’s “headache,” a maneuver that appears to somersault his Z-200 experimental plane at about 200 miles an hour, and is complete before the spectator can figure out exactly what happened. …The sky divers employed both the familiar spherical chutes and the more maneuverable rectangular chutes that allow divers to drift with and against the wind as hang gliders do.A lecturer at the Aspen Institute looked into his crystal ball and predicted,

According to John Firor, head of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the projected oil shale development on the Western Slope could bring Aspen and other ski towns an air pollution problem akin to Denver. …But air pollution generated by the Exxon development may be an insignificant problem compared to the threat posed by the long-term warming of the earth’s atmosphere by continued consumption of fossil fuels.”The best consensus (of scientific research) is that the doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the year 2000 will result in a warming of the average temperature by three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit).”The polar regions may warm by as much as 15 degrees, resulting in a melting of the ice caps and a flooding of low-lying cities.”The cities that would be flooded include New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

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