CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

A history of CSU's building and grounds from 1870 to the present.

Colorado State University Trailer Court/Colorado A & M Trailer Court, 1953-1975

A color photograph, taken from a higher elevation, of a trailer court on a dirt road. In the foreground is a large enclosed arena with a curved roof.

CSU Trailer Court, c. 1965

From CSU's Sense of Place:  A Campus History of Colorado's Land-Grant University, by James E. Hansen, Gordon A. Hazard, and Linda M. Meyer.  Fort Collins, CO:  Colorado State University, 2018.

Architect and Builder – Students and Colorado A & M College facilities staff

850 West Lake Street

Knowing that the original Veterans’ Trailer Court site was going to be used to build Green Hall, a narrow parcel of college-owned land at 850 West Lake Street on the southwest portion of the campus was selected as the site for the relocated trailer park. During the winter of 1952-53, construction of a central wash house and the installation of water and sewer lines were done on site.

In May 1953, the students moved their trailers despite final exams and a great deal of mud from heavy spring rains.  After the move, concrete for the sidewalk was poured.  The sidewalk was said to be a bit wavy due to fact that most of the work on it was done at night without much lighting.  Still, it was better than walking through the mud.

The Colorado A&M Trailer Court was renamed the Colorado State University Trailer Court in May 1957, when the college became a university. There were spaces for 36 trailers, and a waiting list that re­quired a $5 deposit held 30 names.

By 1973, the University had decided to get out of the trailer court business.  Despite a two-year fight put up by the students not wanting to move, the last trailers were removed by June 30, 1975. 

Of note, two other small trailer courts existed on the CSU campus for a few years from 1967 to 1971.  In 1967, the State Board of Agriculture began purchasing property in the 200 block of West Lake Street.  Located at 206 and 210 West Lake Street were two privately-owned trailer courts (the Smith Trailer Court and the West Lake Mobile Home Park owned by C. E. Bowden).  Opened in 1956, they were commonly known as the “Smith-Bowden Trailer Court”.  The 30 trailers already there were allowed to remain through the summer of 1971 when they were removed to allow building sites for the Pathology Building, Painter Center, and Biology Building.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

“Long Range Development Program”, Report to the Colorado State Planning Commission, March 1952.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 14, 1952, page 2, col. 2, vol. LXII, number 10.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 21, 1952, page 2, col. 2, vol. LXII, number 11.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 30, 1953, page 1, vol. LXII, number 16.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 29, 1953, page 2, col. 4-5, vol. LXII, number 31.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, November 27, 1953, page 278.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 9, 1953, page 284.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 12 1954, page 322.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 27, 1954, page 340.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, November 26, 1957, page 5, vol. LXVI, number 20.

1962 City Directory, page 509.

Colorado State University Collegian, April 23, 1963, pages 1R and 3R, vol. LXXI, number 95.

Colorado State University Collegian, January 13, 1966, page 1, col. 1, vol. LXXIV, number 64.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, June 17, 1966, page 83.

CSU Collegian, September 27, 1967, page 5, col. 1, vol. LXXVI, number 4.

CSU Collegian, October 11, 1967, page 12, vol. LXXVI, number 12.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, April 12, 1968, page 527.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 21, 1969, page 112.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, August 15, 1970, page 403.

CSU Collegian, August 18, 1970, pages 1 and 3, vol. LXXVIII, number 159.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, October 30, 1970, pages 439 and 440.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, December 9, 1970, page 463.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 5, 1971, pages 496-497.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 29, 1973, pages 1 and 4, vol. LXXXI, number 70.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, January 31, 1973, page 1, vol. LXXXI, number 72.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, March 2, 1973, pages 303- 304.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 5, 1973, page 3, vol. LXXXI, number 95.

“A History of Colorado State University 1870 – 1974”, by James E. Hansen II, 1974.

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 22, 1975, page 124.

“Democracy’s College in the Centennial State – A History of Colorado State University” by James E. Hansen II, 1977, pp. 355, 376, 378.

State Board of Agriculture Land: Chuck Terrell Interview, June 1986, page 6.

State Board of Agriculture Land: Chuck Terrell Conversation, October 26, 1992, page 5.

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