National and State Register

Plaza Block Building

Otero County

The Plaza Block building was constructed in 1895 in the center of La Junta’s first business district, Trinidad Plaza, during a period of rapid population growth, development, and modernization all stemming from a stable railroad economy.  The building had a variety of commercial occupants throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and was used as a department store, grocery store, billiards hall, furniture store and upholstery shop.

Plaza Block Building in La Junta.

Plaza Block Building in La Junta

Most importantly, the Postal Telegraph and Cable Company and subsequently Western Union used part of the building as a telegraph office for nearly 60 years.  The La Junta Postal Telegraph branch office served as an integral part of a critical communications network that initially followed the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad and connected for the first time numerous Colorado locations to cities as far east as Omaha and as far west as Los Angeles.  The Plaza Block Building is an excellent example of a late-nineteenth century two-part commercial building.