Collins Block and the Caribou Club
Built between 1891 and 1893, the Collins Block building was the last major commercial structure built in Aspen before the collapse of the silver mining industry. For years the building housed Aspen Lumber and Supply. At present, the building is most well-known for the exclusive Caribou Club, which is located in the basement.
Backstory and Context
Long before Aspen became a playground for the rich and famous, it was a relatively typical silver mining town. Like many others, it boomed quickly in the late 1800s and then entered several decades known as "the quiet years." Aspen may not have had the bust that other boom towns experienced, but it was certainly no longer the prosperous silver town that it once was.
After World War II, Aspen once again boomed, this time as a ski resort. With the influx of tourists and the money that came with them, there was a new interest in Aspen's historic buildings. In 1988, Harley Baldwin bought the Collins Block Building. To the shock of many locals, Baldwin began digging underneath the building with plans to open a private club in its newly-created basement.
The club became the Caribou Club, one of the city's truly legendary nightspots. The club has hosted countless Hollywood celebrities as well as sports figures, politicians, and writers.
The Collins Block Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.