Fates entwined: As goes the town, so goes the Gazette
The Gazette and Colorado Springs have risen and fallen and risen again together.
Just a year after William Jackson Palmer founded the city, he founded a newspaper originally named Out West.
In its 149-year history, The Gazette took on five different names and four locations — each symbolic of broader changes in the community.
When the city was small, The Gazette was small. It was started in a two-story frame house on the northeast corner of what is now Tejon Street and Colorado Avenue, where the U.S. Olympic Committee now sits.
In that simpler era, when the budding city had just 2,000 residents and a subscription to the four-page weekly Gazette cost $3 per year, the building was divided up. Palmer had his office in the front. The newsroom/ printing plant was in the middle room, and the paper’s editor/publisher/printer/reporter, J. E. Liller, lived in the back room with his wife. Upstairs was the town meeting room where the church services were held, the first school’s classes were held, the fire department was organized and the town militia met when there was news of Indian raids.
When the city thrived, The Gazette thrived.
In 1891, The Gazette moved to a stately, new, four-story building on Pikes Peak Ave. just as gold was discovered in Cripple Creek, fueling the growth of both the town and the newspaper.
The Gazette held a party for 1,000 people on the opening night of the grand new building, but the party would not last. When the gold boom faded, many people who made it rich left town. Over the next several decades Colorado Springs barely grew, and the Gazette was sold and sold again.
But during World War II, the huge influx of troops, construction, and other businesses breathed new life into the local economy and The Gazette. The Gazette merged with the Telegraph in 1947 to form the Gazette-Telegraph and the paper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for feature writing.
In 2012 Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group bought The Gazette and moved it back downtown just as downtown was coming back to life, and retooled the paper for its digital future.
The Gazette won its second Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for national reporting on combat veterans who were discharged “other than honorably.”
In 2020, The Gazette unhooked its fortunes from the town for the first time, launching a new digital newspaper, the Denver Gazette, that will expand its reach statewide and, hopefully, far into the future.
Generously Submitted by Vince Bzdek, Editor, The Gazette