Perfect-sized town for this feature - as usual, no more than 6000 souls. There was mining; then there was the train; then there were ranchers and more mining. Then terror and bloodshed: "Gunnison County is the setting of the science fiction film Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem."

Of course, they shot it elsewhere. So what do we have? Perfectly restored, or never ruined:

Someone spent a lot on that one when it went up. They would have been surprised to come back in a hundred years and see trees, though. What are trees doing on the main street?

By contrast . . .

The Benevolence of the Elks does not extend to architecture.

It's the little roof that really makes the building. OKAY, okay, we're sorry. Here's a traditional element. Happy? No? Whatever.

The jumble-tumble of letters was a signage favorite, once upon a time.

From here it's Pi Za. I wonder if the Z just fell off one night, and some took it before the owners could put it back up. It hung in someone's bedroom for a while. No really Mom he gave it to us

The other view is more complete, and would have answered any questions raised by the broken side. Yes. Yes, they have pizza.

Long low building, no name - perhaps a speculative venture. Stores downstairs, apartments upstairs.

Again, that regrettable remodeling: people don't want too much window. You give them a lot of window, they just spend time looking out and getting lost in unhelpful thoughts. Tom Edison, there's a man who didn't need much window.

A classic sign that wouldn't be out of place in California . . .

. . . and one you wouldn't see in California, probably; long-ago swapped out for something more up-to-date.

But this will always be up-to-date.


I'm sure it was another bank before it was Bank of the West, and it's nice they put in that corner window so people inside could check the time without having to look at their wrists.

Interesting ghost:

You don't see many downtown signs advertising automobile services, especially quotidian ones like Tuneups.

Unless this was a clothing store run by a Dutchman named Tuneup.

If I had to guess: height-of-post-war-downtown-shopping 50s building, absolutely unadorned; sign is original.

Then it needed updating, because it was plain. I'd say early 80s.

If it flapped those things hard enough, it might lift off.

We end this visit to an ordinary little downtown with a tall tower:

There's a time in every small town's life when someone builds higher than two stories, and it's always a source of local pride. Looks as if they might have considered building another one next to it, but there was a Panic.

Looking at those amazing clouds, it's not so bad that the sky has pride of place in Gunnison.