Since the early 1920’s, the 9th & Colorado site has played an important role in the development of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, the development of the surrounding neighborhoods, and significant advancements in the field of medicine. For more than 75 years, the 9th & Colorado campus thrived, growing to more than 2 million square feet covering more than 26 acres. It was home to medical professionals that pioneered cancer research, public health, critical vaccines, open heart surgery, diagnostic ultrasound, genetic cloning, and the prevention and treatment of child abuse. By the late 1990’s, the University had outgrown the constraints of the 9th & Colorado campus, initiating a new era of transition.
1920's - 1940's
New Era: 1950's - 1960's
New Era: 1970's - 1990's
New Era: 2000's - Present
On July 7, 1922 Frederick G. Bonfils, owner of the Denver Post, donates 17 acres of vacant land for the construction of a new medical center.
Colorado General Hospital, having been chartered to provide free care for Colorado's poor, along with the School of Medicine, Psychopathic Hospital, Nurses' Home and Power Plant are dedicated on January 23, 1925.
The School of Nursing starts its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.
In 1935 Ella Strong Denison, widow of Dr. Charles Denison donates a memorial library and auditorium. The dedication takes place on May 28, 1937.
Workers in the New Deal's Works Progress Administration build the new wing of the Colorado General Hospital.
Helen Bonfils and Dr. Osgoode Philpott open the Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank, named after Helen Bonfil's beloved mother, on February 27, 1943 at Colorado General Hospital. The Bonfils Blood Bank moved into their new building in 1957.
The campus retains its classic Neo-Georgian architectural style while expanding in size within the site's original borders.
1950's - 1960's
The Webb-Waring Institute was founded in 1924 as the Colorado Foundation for Research in Tuberculosis at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Dr. Waring became the director and moved the Institute to the University of Colorado Medical School campus in 1953.
In 1962, Dr. Kempe and Dr. Brandt F. Steele published the paper, "The Battered Child Syndrome", which led to identification and recognition of child abuse by the medical community. Dr. Kempe received two nominations for the Nobel Prize, one of which was for his contribution to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Due to his efforts, child abuse laws exist in all 50 states.
Dr. John J. Conger becomes Dean of The School of Medicine and Head of the Medical Center and guides the rapid expansion of the complex. He became acting Chancellor, receiving the University of Colorado Medal for Outstanding Service.
Colorado University opens the new hospital on the north side of 9th Avenue. The campus doubles in size and expands onto a golf driving range to the north. This complex connects to the old campus via the Research Bridge, dubbed "The Bridge to the Future."
1970's - 1990's
After an era of sustained institutional growth, UCHSC's massive growth in personnel and facilities pushes up against the limitation of its urban borders.
Planning began in 1996 to move the UCHSC eight miles east to the Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora, CO.
2000's - Present
The Colorado State Legislature passes a bill requiring the University of Colorado to enter into an agreement with a third-party master developer to redevelop the 9th and Colorado site by June 30, 2006.
For progress updates, visit the Development News Page.
We reached out to the community and asked them to share their 9+CO stories, both past and present. Read their stories below.
My father moved our family from Indiana to Denver in 1953 to head Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the CU School of Medicine. Ultimately he became the Medical School Dean, CU Vice-President for Medical Affairs and the Acting Chancellor of the Health Sciences Center. He oversaw the construction of the new University Hospital as the campus doubled in size. He was particularly proud of helping found the John F. Kennedy Child Development Center which has grown into JFK Partners that supports Colorado's developmental disability and special health care needs communities.
The John J. Conger PhD Lectureship and Visiting Professorship in Child Mental Health Policy at the University of Colorado has been established to follow his lead in promoting awareness of the plight of children in our society and facilitate continued improvement in human health and development. Every year this endowment allows distinguished speakers to come to the Anschutz Medical Campus to discuss the latest developments in child psychology and children’s mental health policy with Colorado’s medical community. His life’s work, started at 9th and Colorado, goes on.