I was walking along College Ave in Old Town one day when the sign for the Northern Hotel against the stark blue Colorado sky inspired me to pull out my smart device and snap a photo.

To think that people have been staying in this place as a temporary home since before Colorado was even a state is pretty incredible. I wonder if Old Town had the warmth and charm back then as it does now.

There is so much history inside those walls, so I was overjoyed to see that the Fort Collins Local History Archive has the earliest photos that we know of online. We can look at this beloved landmark all the way back to its roots!

The Northern Hotel has been a standout attraction since it was built in 1873. Back then, it was known as the Agriculture Hotel for a short time, then the Commercial Hotel, and finally in the early 20th century it came to be known as the Northern Hotel.

 

 

The Commercial Hotel circa 1877

Fort Collins Local History Archive - 1877

Then, as now, things changed. Here is the landmark, still known as the Commercial Hotel, in 1900.

Commercial Hotel in 1900 - Fort Collins Local History Archive

In 1905, it became the Northern Hotel.

NothernHotel 1905 - Fort Collins Local History Archive

The 1930's bring to it a look we can still recognize today.

NothernHotel 1938 - Fort Collins Local History Archive

Here is a beautiful shot of the hotel from from afar from 1969.

1969 - Fort Collins Local History Archive

Thanks to the Fort Collins Local History Archive for use of these beautiful photos.