Historic Pueblo, Inc. is honored to promote and advance the status of the Coronado Motel to the

National Historic Register. 

2130 Lake Avenue

Pueblo, Colorado  81004




A big THANK YOU to the E.M. Christmas Foundation for funding the research and the writing of the National Register nomination application.


The State Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation determined that the Coronado Lodge/Motel meets the criteria for nominaton under Criterion A for Commerce and Ethnic Heritage/Black and Criterion C for Architecture.



The Coronado Lodge is located in the southern part of Pueblo, Colorado, a city with a population of 111,750 (2018), in the south-central part of the state.  The Coronado is a 1.7-acre 1940s motel complex, including five contributing principal buildings:  an office/owners' residence and four guestroom buildings.  Also present are five small-scale noncontributing resources:  a shed, a vehicle shelter, two freestanding signs, and a horse sculpture.  Four of the five contributing buildings display stuccoed adobe walls composed of locally made adobe bricks.  The use of the Pueblo Revival style, with stepped massing, smooth walls, vigas, and peeled log porch supports with oversized corbelled brackets (zapatas), provides the property with a unity of design.  The property retains a high level of historic integrity with small additions, garage enclosures, and some window and door replacements since its construction.  The included Sketch Map (in the National Register application below) shows the boundary of the nominated area, contributing status, and photograph locations.


The area containing the Coronado remained in unincorporated Pueblo County unil annexation by the city in 1948.  Lake Avenue evolved into a commercial strip in the 1940-1960 era, including motels, nightclubs, restaurants, trailer courts, and taverns, with most oriented toward tourism and/or entertainment.  Two large entertainment venues opened on Lake Avenue south of the Coronado in 1949:  Pueblo Greyhound Park, featuring greyhound racing and betting, and the Lake Drive-in Theater, with a capacity of seven hundred vechicles.  The 1940s and 1950s, an era the Pueblo Chieftain judged in 1991 as Lake Avenue's "golden age," saw the opening of the 85 Club and the Broken Dollar burlesque/strip clubs.  The 85 Club featured Hotcha Hinton and her Las Vegas Revue.  June Linford, a former stripper at the Broken Dollar and proprietor of the Flame Room, recalled the thoroughfare as "one rip-roaring strip.  After-hours clubs over there, everywhere, a whorehouse over there (northeast of the Silver Saddle), someone throwing a cat over the fence at the dog track, something always going on.  It was fun, fun, fun."  In September 1939 Fred Pierson acquired the block where the Coronado Lodge would be built.


Listing in the Green Book


Prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many owners of lodging facilities, cafes, service stations, and other public accommodations refused to serve African Americans, disadvantaging their ability to travel freely throughout the country.  By contrast, according to Joyce Copley Reimer, during the Copleys' ownership of the Coronado Lodge, "We didn't discriminate about anybody.  They had the money, they were welcome.  We didn't turn anybody away." 


Perhaps to formalize this policy or to broaden the facility's appeal, beginning in 1957, the Copleys listed the Coronado in the Negro Travelers' Green Book, a publication that identifed lodging and other facilities that welcomed African American patrons.  Small numbers of African Americans resided in Pueblo during the 1940-1960 period, with the group comprising less than 3 percent of the city's population and growing from just 1,380 in 1940 to 2,026 in 1960. 


Travel for blacks in the Jim Crow era was challenging and potentially dangerous.  Victor H. Green, the New York City postal worker who developed the Green Book, advised his readers to "always carry your Green Book with you -- you may need it."  And suggested the publication "may free themselves of a lot of worry and inconvenience as they plan a trip.  Green Book historian Candacy Taylor concluded that "Given the violence that black travelers encountered on the road, the Green Book was an ingenious solution to a horrific problem.  It represented the fundamental optimism of a race of people facing tyranny and terrorism.  Not only did it show black travelers where they could go, but it was also a compelling marketing tool that supported black-owned businesses and celebrated black self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship." 


Taylor estimates that 80 percent of properties listed in the publication had African American owner/operators; many of the remainder had Jewish owners or operators.  Atypically, the owners of the Coronado Lodge, the Copleys, were white Methodists.  Relatively few Colorado lodging places appeared in the Green Book, which divided listings into hotels, motels, tourist homes, and summer resorts.  Most Colorado entries consisted of individual hosts offering rooms in small guest houses.


The Coronado was one of only three motels listed in the Green Book during the 1957-1967 period.  It appears to have been one of the largest and most modern lodging facilities to be listed in the Colorado section of the Green Book.  The Davis Auto Court in Montrose was listed in the publication from 1948 to 1960.  The 1957  Crestline Motor Hotel (7330 Highway 85 in Adams, or Derby, Adams County) appeared in the Green Book from 1961 through 1966-1967.



Nationwide, it has been determined that less than a third of the Green Book listed properties are still standing, and only 5 percent are still operating.  Some of the other Pueblo properties listed in the Green Book were the Perry Hotel at 321 S. Victoria, tourist homes at 918 E. Evans, 1003 Spruce, and at 121 E. Northern.  Taverns, the Blue Bird at 705 N. Main, Mecca Grill at 719 N. Main Street and Grand 114 W. 4th.


-- National Register of Historic Places,

Front Range Research Associates, Inc.