AdAmAn Alley

Opening celebration rescheduled to Dec 28th

AdAmAn Alley

AdAmAn Alley is a placemaking initiative celebrating 100 years of the AdAmAn Club’s unique role in the history of the Pikes Peak region through the transformation of one block in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs. Since 1922, members of the AdAmAn Club, a nonprofit organization, ascend Pikes Peak each Dec. 30–31, igniting a glorious fireworks display atop the peak at midnight on New Year’s Eve for all to enjoy for miles around.

Project Background

Members of the AdAmAn Club approached the Downtown Partnership in 2020, desiring to undertake a public project in recognition of their upcoming 100th anniversary in December 2022. Downtown Partnership and its charitable nonprofit arm, Downtown Ventures, are recognized locally and statewide for their award-winning Art on the Streets public art program and other initiatives that leverage art to create inviting public spaces.

In discussion with property owners, the opportunity to activate an alley in the heart of Downtown took hold and grew to the placemaking project now known as AdAmAn Alley. With a direct view of Pikes Peak to the west, the alley is bounded by Nevada Avenue to the east, Tejon Street to the west, Pikes Peak Avenue to the north and Colorado Avenue to the south. Improvements to Downtown alleyways are a specific tactic cited in the Experience Downtown Master Plan.

alley improvements

Creative placemaking

Visitors are welcomed off Tejon Street by a placename arch between the historic Carlton & Hibbard buildings.

A representation of Barr Trail is marked on the alley pavement. 

As visitors walk through the alley they will find bronze trail markers identifying significant locations along the Club’s annual hike. Historical information about these locations can be found by following trail markers with QR codes to the Pioneers Museum’s website HERE

LED Fireworks display

Mural by El Mac

Projection by George Berlin

Cairns by Kim Carlino

These murals are playful, vibrant, geometric representations of rock cairns that mark the Barr Trail ascent to Pikes Peak

Frozen Five of Yore by FIXER | Brand Design Studio

This design was inspired by photos from the first decade of the club’s history, illustrated in a style reminiscent of WPA posters of the 1930s. Lyrics from the AdAmAn song are incorporated in a style reminiscent of the period.

Mural by Zane Prater

The rope connecting the climbers is a nod to the value of community, togetherness, and lineage which binds us all to people and place. The burst of light over the peak most obviously references the firework display but is also a reference to the original Ute name for the mountain, Tava Kahv or Sun Mountain.

Archival imagery: Composite photo of fireworks on the peak taken by local photographer Daniel Forster

Archival imagery: Photo of firemasters John Garett and Rev. George McDonald taken by Harry Standley

Native plant sculptures by Yul Jorgensen

A series of sculptures of native plants adorn the new parklet adjacent to the City Administration Building. 

Pedestrian Enhancements & Waste Consolidation

Before the project, the alley was a patchwork of crumbling asphalt with drainage problems. Over two dozen dumpsters lined each leg of the alley in addition to separate oil and grease containers, all of which called for several companies to bring large vehicles through the alley multiple times a week.

New pavement

The entirety of the alley was repaved with new textured and colored concrete. Imprints of local and altitude-appropriate foliage were imprinted along the surface in addition to an artistic rendering of Barr Trail.

Traffic regulation

In order to make this new attraction safe for the increased pedestrian activity, the east to west legs of the alley have been protected from vehicular traffic by bollards during certain hours of the day.

Waste consolidation

Through a single contract with one service provider, the entire alley’s needs are met with two compactors, one compost dumpster, and centralized oil containers.

Utilities Upgrades

Portions of the utilities infrastructure in the alley dated back more than 100 years. Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) replaced equipment including pipelines, wires, cables, and utility vaults. CSU used a 3D scanning technology to locate and identify all existing utilities (in use and abandoned) prior to excavating.

During construction, upgrades included:

  • 475 feet of new water main to replace a heavily corroded cast iron pipe that was installed in 1911 to increase flow and pressure.
  • 500 feet of clay wastewater pipe rehabilitation installed in 1888.
  • 700 feet of new plastic gas main including a new two-way feed to reduce the probability of outages in the area.
  • New service lines and risers were upgraded to current standards.
  • Three new electric circuits and 5,400 feet of new electric cable.
  • 225 feet of telecommunications conduit and three fiber optic vaults.
  • 365 feet of plastic stormwater pipe and new catch basins.
  • Concrete repaving and grade changes to eliminate standing water and ice accumulation.

AdAmAn alley Project Team

AdAmAn Club
Dan Stuart
Jack Donley
Don Sanborn

Downtown Partnership
Chelsea Gondeck, project manager
Michelle Winchell, art director
Claire Swinford

City of Colorado Springs
Ryan Phipps

Colorado Springs Utilities
Margaret Radford

RTA Architects
Christine Costa
Stuart Coppedge
Greg Johnson

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Matt Mayberry

GE Johnson Construction Company

Tim Redfern

Blake Wilson
Dave Lux

MORE INFORMATION

Please address any questions not addressed below to INFO@DOWNTOWNCS.COM. A team member will follow up with you promptly.

Initial discussions started in mid-2020 among club members, Partnership staff, and some property owners on the block.

From the project’s inception, a small project team met monthly, along with ad hoc sub-committees as needed. Partnership staff alone contributed over 1,000 hours as project managers.

Construction began in June 2022 with complete closure of the alley until November 2022.

The opening celebration will be held on November 29, 2022.

Total project cost is estimated at $2.1 million. Most of that is essential upgrades to aging utilities and subsequent paving. The Colorado Springs Utilities and City of Colorado Springs costs were just over $1.5 million. The AdAmAn Club raised over $650,000 in private funding for the aesthetic and artistic enhancements.

The Downtown Development Authority has taken on ownership and maintenance of the murals, projection mapping equipment, and LED display as part of the Experience Downtown alley activation plan.

There are nine property owners in the alley with over 20 tenants.

Prior to the project, there were over 20 dumpsters lining most of the walls in the alley, with 11 separate contracts for service among a handful of different providers. Through a single contract with GFL, all property owners are now provided trash and recycling through two compactors, as well as a single dumpster for the owners that opted into compost services. Furthermore, six separate containers for oil recycling were consolidated into a single contract and location.

Both displays operate daily a little after dusk. Hours change seasonally, but you can bet if it’s dark out, they’ll be on! (Note: The fireworks display over the archway is scheduled to debut Dec. 31, 2022.)

The southern leg of the alley is available for vehicular access 24/7 due to the private parking garage in the center of the alley. New bollards are placed at the eastern and western entrances from 11 am to 8 pm daily. The Partnership worked with property owners and businesses to arrange for large deliveries and waste collection to occur outside of these hours or through use of the southern leg.

Businesses in the alley can make use of the public space by acquiring a revocable right of way or event permit from the city.