Archive for the ‘Quonset hut’ Category

[As I research historic Fort Collins, I come across pictures and advertisements for stores I wish I could visit. Except for #6, all were gone before I got here. If you know more about these places or want to contribute your own favorite lost businesses, just comment below or write me.]

1. Iverson Dairy, Shields and 287

“Remember they (children) need the best. Home delivery, S&H Green Stamps, Visit our milk bar”


What’s there now? Rocky Mountain Adventures

2. Emry Clothing Company, College and Mountain

“The store ‘right’ on the corner”


[Look at that sign! We used to be so fabulous!]

What’s there now? Austin’s restaurant.

3. Barrett’s House of a Million Parts, 513 Riverside 


[Seems like the kind of place that would sell you the part and then loan you a wrench.]

What’s there now? Vacant. Near Mulberry and Riverside intersection.

4. Al and Ruth’s Cafeteria, 226 S. College

Specialized pastries, a fountain, and bulk ice cream. 


[I hear the pastries were memorable.]

What’s there now? Poudre Valley Appliance/Tony’s

5. Standard Mercantile, 154 W. Mountain 

“Northern Colorado’s largest collection of records. Classical–semi classical–popular. Columbia — Capital — Decca — R.C.A. — Victor” 


[I could never walk past a record store.]

What’s there now? Offices [note edge of Scrivner’s grocery next door]

6. Stone Lion Bookstore, College and Mountain


What’s there now? Beau Jo’s Pizza

7. N&R bar, Linden & Walnut 


[SPECIAL FEATURE! Click on the picture to “go inside”]

What’s there now? Nature’s Own

8. Wood’s Music, 246 Linden 

“Pianos, piano players, Edison Phonographs, Records and Supplies, Sheet Music”


[Featuring 2 music stores in honor of our soon to be lost, The Finest. Read the article in the Fort Collins Now.]

What’s there now? TBD

9. Dr. I.O. McCarty, Dentist (1906)

“Sonnoform administered”

[Same building as #6. Sonnoform an anesthetic held in a vial. The dentist broke the vial and wafted the fumes toward your nose to knock you out.]

10. Shedd and Lee, 115 E. Mountain

“Everything for the office but the secretary.”


[I just liked the tag line]

What’s there now? Two Pairs

11. Ladd’s Covered Wagon. 287 between FtC and LaPorte 


[Fort Collins’ favorite restaurant in a giant Quonset Hut! Burned down.]

What’s there now? Vacant lot

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Lost Fort Collins was just supposed to be a blog about vanishing historic Fort Collins. Yet, the Quonset huts keep coming up. 

If you’re interested in Q-huts, you know they’re ubiquitous. So, what makes one even worth driving to see? 

Well, Norm and I have spent a significant amount of time in front of the Northern discussing just that topic. Here’s the answer:

1. It’s got to be old–vintage 1940s or 50s.

2. It’s got to be used for something besides storage. Extra points if someone lives in it.

3. Paint gets you points too.


A perfect find. Congratulations to Susan!

A perfect find. Congratulations to Susan!

Of course, these are all just guidelines. LostOregon posted a picture of a Qunoset hut that only met criterion #2, but was nonetheless spectacular. 


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This town is awash in Quonset huts.

Funny thing: You can live here for decades and not even notice. Like, most of us can remember a Q-hut on Riverside Avenue as you drive into town. But in fact, it’s a row of FOUR Q-huts (technically on Jefferson).  See:

4 Quonset huts on Jefferson Ave

(Okay, maybe you don’t see. Q1 is distant, but it’s Black’s Glass. And Q3 doesn’t look Quonset at all. That’s because somebody has hidden it behind an elaborate store front. But it’s unmistakedly Quonset behind the facade.)

After you start thinking about these 1940s artifacts, you start to see them everywhere.

They came here after the war, when building materials were scarce. The University ordered 100+ from Montgomery Ward to house the swarm of GIs that doubled enrollment during the last of the 1940s. The half- and quarter-round homes came on the train and formed Veterans Village on the north boundary of the school.

Always too hot or too cold, the Quonset huts endured as married student housing only until the 1960s. Once obsolete, the tin dorms found their way into backyards, fields, and farms everywhere. There are two at the Swetsville Zoo. And one at Frank’s Trout Farm.

But there were others. A local store sold tiny 12×20 kit Quonset hut houses, and two remain:


Both built in 1947. They remind me of Gypsy wagons. It’s only when I mistakenly thought we had lost one that I began to think about them at all. I took a wild stab and Googled Quonset+hut+fort+collins, and found the most amazing and exhaustive report:  Read this (PDF)!!!!


For more local Quonset huts, see the “Beyond the blog” link at right.

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