- Community Character
- Downtown Castle Rock
Downtown Castle Rock
From a cluster of shacks for prospectors and quarry workers in the 1870s, to a commerce center for a small agricultural community throughout much of the 20th century, to a vibrant area for enjoyment and employment today, Downtown Castle Rock has consistently served as this community's heart.
The rich history of Downtown Castle Rock
Some of the district's earliest buildings are built of locally quarried rhyolite stone. They stand out among their counterparts, reflecting the Town's roots and contributing to Castle Rock's distinct identity. In fact, three of those buildings are so distinct they are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One was originally a railroad depot and another a hotel; those structures are now home to the Town museum and one of Downtown's longest-serving restaurants, Castle Café.
Learn more about the Town's historic preservation efforts.
Other historic buildings served important functions in early Castle Rock, as well: a church, a lumber warehouse, homes for two prominent local families and two more hotels. People in Castle Rock now know these locales as Sclieppi's restaurant, The Barn shops, Wild Blue Yonder Brewing Co. and the Castle Rock Chamber and Visitors Center, and two apartment houses for some of the hundreds of residents who now call Downtown Castle Rock home.
The 300 block of Wilcox Street before the road was paved, between 1900 and 1910.
Postcard of Castle Rock Railroad Depot, 1908.
Castle Hotel - today's Castle Café - between 1920 and 1930.
The view north on Wilcox from Third Street, 1925.
Stores at Fourth and Jerry streets (1950-1977). This building is now home to Angie's Restaurant.
The 300 block of Wilcox Street during the 1950s.
A float for Douglas County High School's 1956 homecoming celebration.
Carolers celebrating Starlighting in 1965.
Residents recreated Castle Rock's first buildings as part of the Town's centennial celebration in 1981.
The 300 block of Wilcox Street in 1994.
The 300 block of Wilcox Street in 2006.
Although each unique, these historic structures - and newer ones that have sprung up throughout Downtown during the last decade - all point to another community cornerstone: the Town's thriving economy. Downtown is not only the heart of Castle Rock but the center of governmental services for all of Douglas County - one of the country's healthiest and prosperous counties and, accordingly, one of the most desirable in which to live. Hence, residents have flocked to fill Downtown's new residences that are part of the Mercantile Commons, Riverwalk and Encore developments.
While Downtown's buildings tell a story of Castle Rock's history and economic opportunity, what's beyond the buildings is equally important to the Town's distinct identity. Just north of Downtown sits the Town's iconic namesake, Castle Rock, which can be hiked for a bird's-eye view of the historic district. And, views to the west and south from Downtown reveal breathtaking scenes of the Front Range, including America's mountain, Pikes Peak.
However, one doesn't need to venture to great heights to appreciate Colorado's unique nature when in Castle Rock. Instead, those seeking outdoor opportunities can travel to Downtown's activity center, the one-of-a-kind Festival Park, which features an expansive lawn, creek-side picnic opportunities and more. The park also hosts some of the Town's favorite events.
While the availability of water, the arrival of the railroad and the discovery of rhyolite initially brought people to the area, years of planning have made Downtown Castle Rock the attractive destination it is today. A strong partnership between the Town and the Downtown Alliance will help keep our historic Downtown vibrant for years to come.