COLORADO SPRINGS — On Wednesday morning—at the intersection of Wood Avenue and Columbia— the Old North End Neighborhood (ONEN), Colorado Springs Utilities, and the City of Colorado Springs celebrated finalizing a project to restore several historic street lights in the Old North End Neighborhood.
The lamps, which were originally paid for by past homeowners on Wood Avenue, represent a significant section of the neighborhood's history. In 1930, residents on 1100, 1200, and 1300 blocks of Wood Avenue tried to create a special district named the "Wood Avenue Light District" after the initial installation of the lamps.
When Colorado Springs Utilities tried removing the lights in October 2021, they were asked by current ONEN residents to keep the street lights in order to preserve the neighborhood's character.
In an effort to find a solution that worked for everyone involved, neighborhood leaders, Colorado Springs Utilities and the City came together and decided to keep the historic lamp posts and supply them with energy-efficient light bulbs.
ONEN members paid to get the lamp posts changed to be able to use the new light bulbs and agreed to keep up their maintenance over time. Springs Utilities arranged for the lights to be altered and reinstalled in their original locations. The streetlight program is now going to be annually funded through the city of Colorado Springs and administered by Springs Utilities.
When asked about the project, Charlie Cassidy— operations general manager for Springs Utilities— replied, "The key to this project was not only the ingenuity of people to merge the past and the present but the commitment to positive collaboration. As a community-owned utility, we want to always support the wishes of the residents. We’re thankful to have heard from the neighbors. Their involvement gave us the chance to open dialogue, learn from each other and meet our shared goals of supporting public safety and responsibly using utilities services,” said Charlie Cassidy, operations general manager for Springs Utilities.
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