Garden of the Gods Park
In 1879, General William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs, convinced his friend Charles Elliot Perkins to purchase land in Garden of the Gods. Perkins eventually bought a total of 480 spectacular acres surrounding the Gateway Rocks, paying $22.00 per acre.
Perkins, the president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, lived in Iowa. He never built on his Colorado land but he generously allowed the public to enjoy his property. Perkins expressed his wish for the land to become a public park, but he died before arrangements could be made.
Perkins' children followed their father's wishes and offered the land to the City of Colorado Springs. In late 1909, the City Council accepted the land with the following restrictions:
◆ the public park be known forever as Garden of the Gods.
◆ no intoxicating liquors be manufactured or sold in the park.
◆ no buildings be erected, except those necessary to maintain the park.
◆ the park shall be forever free and open to the public.
Garden of the Gods was given special recognition as National Natural Landmark in 1972.
The Hidden Inn
In 1915, the City constructed a pueblo-style building in the Park to be used as a caretaker's residence, curio shop and tearoom. Later, an east wing was added and a snack
bar replaced the tearoom. The Inn's third-floor viewing deck made the souvenir shop a popular destination.
The Hidden Inn was removed from the Park in 1996 under citizen direction and the area revegetated.