Cañon City Municipal Building, 1927-2004
Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center
612 Royal Gorge Boulevard
The two-story Cañon City Municipal Building was constructed in 1927 with a terra cotta portico entry supported by four reeded piers in the early 20th Century Moderne Style. Tapestry brick by Jewett Firebrick Company, foundation and wall construction of Kerr Quarry stone and concrete made it as fireproof as possible. Designed by Denver Architect Eugene Groves, the original cost was $60,000; while the 2004 renovation to accommodate the Museum and History Center amounted to $1.2 million.
As part of the original proposal, Dall DeWeese (nationally known hunter, world traveler and land developer) pushed to have a museum on the top floor to display his collection of game trophies. After approval, the City paid DeWeese $150.00 a month to supervise the construction and the landscaping around the property. The fireplace in the DeWeese Gallery was constructed from petrified bones of animals from 40-50 million years ago.
The top floor also houses the Amick Gallery. Western artist Robert W. Amick was born on a ranch near Cañon City in 1879. He went to Yale Law School, then art school in New York. He painted the Priceless Mural on the entire North Wall and has other work exhibited. Amick died in 1969.
Until 2004, the building was the City Hall, Council Chambers, Police Department, Municipal Court and Jail as well as the Chamber of Commerce office. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
The Museum displays area history including Dinosaur fossils from nearby Garden Park under an agreement with BLM. The History Center provides access to historical documents and other items of local historical interest.