Depot History

the rich history of

The Depot

The Depot’s history runs as deep as the veins of gold and silver pulled from the Telluride valley. Constructed in 1891 during the mining boom, the Depot served as a connection to the rest of the world, bringing in people with fresh ideas and big dreams while exporting precious metals extracted from the high-alpine basins. When the railroad ceased operations in 1951, the building stood vacant for many years until Charles and Sue Cobb purchased the Depot in the late 1980’s and restored the dilapidated building. This was no small task as the building had no foundation and was essentially four walls supported by cables. Vogy’s House Moving transported the structure a few hundred feet up Townsend to sit while a foundation was constructed. When the foundation was complete, the building was moved back into place and set onto the new foundation.
always a crowd pleaser

Beer and Fine Dining

In December 1991, James Loo opened the San Juan Brewing Co. at the Depot. This local favorite closed in 1996, but is remembered fondly by many for legendary events including the New Year’s 1993 debut of The String Cheese Incident. The tradition of gathering over food and drink at the Depot continued when Harmon Brown then opened Harmon’s Restaurant. With an upscale but intimate feel, Harmon’s was one of the most popular restaurants in town during its 11 years in operation.

the ah haa school

Time for Art 

The use of the Depot shifted from creative culinary delights to art and education in 2007 when the Ah Haa School for the Arts purchased the building and moved in. For 13 years, the Depot was home to thousands of budding artists and became a cultural touchstone in the heart of Telluride.
When the Ah Haa School set its sights on a new and larger home, Telluride Science saved the Depot from private development when it purchased the National Historic Landmark building in October 2020.

and coming full circle

Home Sweet Home 

Delaying plans for renovations, Telluride Science leased the Depot to the Telluride Regional Medical Center so that the space could be used as an auxiliary respiratory clinic during the pandemic. In June 2022, the Telluride Medical Center moved out, and at long last, Telluride Science finally moved into their permanent home. Summer 2022 was busy with scientist workshops and picnics as well as public Town Talks. Several individuals and organizations also rented the Depot for private events and parties.

Renovations started in November 2022 with an expected build time of 16-18 months. The Telluride Science and Innovation Center will make its grand debut in Summer 2024.