1940s + 50s Photos of Grand Junction Colorado Building Stuff
Do you remember when they built St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado? Do you recall what the project looked like when building the bridge in Palisade? Neither do I, probably because I wouldn't be born for another 21 years.
Take a look back at some amazing construction projects from the Grand Junction area with these Robert Grant photos. Some, like the construction of the Orchard Avenue Elementary School, have a timely significance.
What Brought This Up?
Today, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of Colorado's Eisenhower Tunnel. That, combined with a concrete project (a.k.a. major headache) I have unfolding at this very instant at my house, has me thinking about construction.
Every road we drive down, every bridge we cross, and every school we attend, all had to be designed and built by someone. Here's a look at a handful of area construction projects from the 1940s and 50s, all lifted from negatives from Robert Grant's personal collection.
Significant Right Now In Grand Junction, Colorado
The one that really gets me is the photo of the construction of the Orchard Avenue school. This construction project was underway three years after my mom was born. Later, my significant other would attend this very school. Years later, her daughter would go to the same school.
Fast forward to February 2023, and the demographer for Mesa County School District 51 has recommended Orchard Avenue Elementary, along with a few other area schools, be closed.
On A Side Note
The photographer responsible for these photos, Robert Grant, passed away in November 2000. Following his death, his son-in-law, Arlie Jordan, began the process of finding, sorting, digitizing, and archiving Grant's photos. When Arlie passed away in 2019, I took over the job.
After close to four years, I've hardly put a dent in this massive project. At the rate I'm going, it's going to take longer than I have left on this planet. With that, I recently made the decision to hand over all of Bob Grant's personal prints, negatives, and some of his photography equipment to the Museum of the West. Hundreds of prints have already been delivered, and the digitizing process is well underway.
Coming up in 2024, keep your eyes open for a Robert Grant exhibit at the Museum of the West. The project has already started, but the curator at the museum assured me it will be at least 2024 before the exhibit is ready.