National and State Register
Ornamental Concrete Block Buildings in Colorado, 1900-1940
During the first decades of the 20th century, advances in concrete manufacturing and the development of easy to use concrete block forming machines led to the use of ornamental concrete block in both residential and commercial construction.
Although rockfaced block finishes were most widely used, other patterns included paneled, ashlar stone, cobble, rusticated, and decorative wreaths and garlands. As concrete block machines could readily be obtained from mail order catalogs and due to the ability of a single unskilled laborer to operate the machines, many individual home owners fabricated all the ornamental concrete blocks necessary to construct their own houses. Commercial builders also used the blocks for the construction of small hotels, retail offices, and warehouse buildings. (Cover documentation accepted by National Register in 1997, accepted for State Register 6/9/2004.)